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^HHH December 1969 


In this issue: 

Addresses by General Authorities 
at the 139th Semiannual General Conference 

Joseph Smith as a City Planner 

See page 10 

Be prepared for something different . . . something better. At BYU, 
an education isn't merely an academic experience. It's spiritual and 
physical training, as well. It's an ideal social climate, a dedicated 
faculty, a highly motivated studentbody and a beautiful campus. 

Be prepared for exciting intellectual challenges. And to help 
you meet those challenges, students should try to earn good grades 
in high school, do their best on the American College Tests (required 
of all new freshmen), and develop good study habits. Plan now to 
fulfill the entrance requirements for the next fall semester. A unique 
opportunity awaits you. . . . 


Dates to remember: 

Feb. 21 — American College Test (register November 24-January 19). 
March 1 — Final date for scholarship applications by incoming freshmen. 
April 25 — American College Test (register February 2-March 23). 
April 30 — Final date for new freshmen to apply for fall semester admission. 
May 31 — Final date for admission application for Summer School 1970. 
July 1 — Final date for scholarship applications for transfer students. 
July 31 — Final date for admission applications of transfer, former and 

graduate students. 
Sept. 17-18-19 — Class Registration. 


BYU „ ,. ^ 

On the Cover: 

Man is a social being. He needs the asso- 
ciation of his fellows for his maturity and joy, 
and through his cooperative labors with others 
he refines himself. No group of men have 
better understood this truth than the prophets, 
and few men have labored more diligently to 
provide meaningful environment in which to 
live than the Prophet Joseph Smith. He 
guided those who joined with him into 
planned-city arrangements in three different 
states — Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois — and set 
the pattern for the communal development of 
the intermountain Mormon West. This month's 
cover is a photograph of a new painting of 
Joseph Smith at Independence, Missouri, 
holding the plans for the City of Zion. The 
painting, by Ken Riley, is one of over twenty 

new works of art and sculpture that have been 
commissioned by the Church for use in the 
new Independence, Missouri, Visitors Center, 
to be opened in the spring of 1970. See 
"The City of Zion in the Mountain West," page 
10, and "Joseph Smith as a City Planner," 
page 11. 

Official organ of the Priesthood 

Quorums, Mutual Improvement Associations, 

Home Teaching Committee, 

Music Committee, Church School System, 

and other agencies of The Church 

of Jesus Christ ot Latter-day Saints. 

The Improvement Era 

79 South State, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 

December 1969 

The Voice of the Church • December 1969 • Volume 72, Number 12 

Special Features 

2 The Editor's Page: Unto You This Day, President David 0. McKay 

4 Marvin J. Ashton, Assistant to the Twelve, Jay M. Todd 

6 New YMMIA Superintendency, Eleanor Knowles 

10 The City of Zion in the Mountain West, Richard V. Francaviglia 

11 Joseph Smith as a City Planner, Hal Knight 

26 Temple of Refuge in the Pacific, Paul Alfred Pratte 

Regular Features 

18 Melchizedek Priesthood Page: How Oral Evaluation Can Help Home 
Teachers Keep Close to the Families They Visit, President Alvin R. 

112 Today's Family: Gifts That Money Can't Buy, Eleanor Knowles 

116 Presiding Bishop's Page: The Presiding Bishop Talks to Youth About 
the Bishop's Youth Council, Bishop John H. Vandenberg 

118 The Church Moves On 

120 Buffs and Rebuffs 

122 LDS Scene 

124 Teaching: The Personal Touch, Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr. 

127 These Times: The Ordering Principles of Cities 

130 End of an Era 

74, 77, 81, 121 The Spoken Word, Richard L Evans 

Era of Youth 

131-144 Marion D. Hanks and Elaine Cannon, Editors 

Fiction, Poetry 

20 And Thanks for Those Neat Skippin* Rocks, Janis Hutchinson 
8, 9, 25, 129 Poetry 

28-111 General Conference Addresses 

David 0. McKay, Richard L. Evans, Editors; Doyle L Green, Managing Editor; Jay M. Todd, Assistant Managing Editor; Eleanor 
Knowles, Copy Editor; Mabel Jones Gabbott, Manuscript Editor; Albert L Zobell, Jr., Research Editor; William T, Sykes, Editorial 
Associate; G. Homer Durham, Hugh Nibley, Albert L. Payne, Contributing Editors; Marion D. Hanks, Era of Youth Editor; Elaine 
Cannon, Era of Youth Associate Editor; Ralph Reynolds, Art Director; Norman Price, Staff Artist. 

W. Jay Eldredge, General Manager; Florence S. Jacobsen, Associate General Manager; Verl F. Scott, Business Manager; A. Glen 
Snarr, Circulation Manager; S. Glenn Smith, Advertising Representative. 

©General Superintendent, Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association -of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969; 
published by the Mutual Improvement Associations. All rights reserved. 

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Advertising: The Era is pleased to carry advertisements of interest to readers, but doing so does not imply Church endorsement 
of the advertiser or his product. 

By President David O. McKay 

• Of all holidays throughout the earth, Christmas comes most nearly to being uni- 
versally accepted and celebrated. There is something intrinsic about it that appeals 
to everyone from the stripling youth and the little toddling infant to the old philos- 
opher walking in the sunset of life. It is the one season of the year when ideally 
selfishness is subordinated, and the desire to get is supplanted by kindness, for- 
giveness, forbearance, love. These are among the simple virtues that make this 
holiday season so delightful. 

All cities throughout the Christian world are made brilliant with man-made 
lights on Christmas Eve in modern times. But Christinas Eve in Bethlehem nearly 
two thousand years ago was dark, except perhaps for a few torches seen here 
and there. Yet in that humble though historic town was heralded the first Christ- 
mas story and in it the Light of the world was given mortal birth. 

The announcement of the first Christmas is the sweetest story ever told, 
because the eternal principles enunciated— the "glad tidings of great joy"— were 
to be "unto all people." The light of the world was to shine in every heart. 

Incidents associated with the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem beautifully illus- 
trate this fact. When Joseph and Mary, weary and travel-worn, entered then- 
old home town of Bethlehem, they anticipated securing comfortable lodgings but 
there was no room for them in the inn. Only mothers can realize Mary's keen 
disappointment and fearful anxiety as she and Joseph left the inn and again entered 
the darkness to seek lodging elsewhere. The city was crowded, but among the 
throngs there were no friends to help, no familiar face to alleviate their heavy 
feelings of loneliness— an expectant mother in need of the best, the most comfort- 
able of accommodations, yet not an open door, not even a couch on which to rest. 

Humble shepherds, informed by revelation, found Mary and the Babe lying 
in the manger. Wise men from the East were guided to him through the channel 
of learning. When after eight days Mary, in conformity with the Mosaic law, took 
her child to the temple, Simeon recognized the Babe as "the Lord's Christ.'' 

Thus was it shown even on that first Christmas that all people— the humble, 
the learned, the rich, the great— who sincerely seek the Christ will find him and 
become of one mind in a divine brotherhood. 

"Unto you this day. . . ." Jesus Christ is your Savior and mine. Salvation is 
indeed an individual matter. In the Church of Jesus Christ we work with indi- 
viduals. The principles and ordinances of the gospel— faith, repentance, baptism, 
the laying on of hands, and all the others— are for the individual. 

The true spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ. Radiating through the 
centuries comes the heavenly announcement of his birth: "Glory to God in the 
highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." 

When Christ came as a lowly babe, there was no room in the inn. Today every 
heart in every home should bid him welcome. If such were true, selfishness, 
jealousy, enmity, and all things that bring unhappiness would be replaced by kind- 
ness, willingness to serve, and good will. 

The responsibility of establishing peace in the world rests not alone upon a 
union of nations; it rests upon every individual, upon every home, upon every 
hamlet and city. 

Let each individual therefore admit into his own heart the true spirit of Christ- 
mas. Then let it radiate throughout his home. A thousand such homes would 
make a truly Christian city, and a thousand cities a truly Christian world. O 

• Latter-day Saints have always believed that the 
hand of the Lord is manifest in the calling of their 
leaders, be they on a ward or branch level, or on a 
General Authority level. 

This abiding faith seems well sustained in the re- 
cent appointment at the October general conference 
of Elder Marvin J. Ashton as an Assistant to the Coun- 
cil of the Twelve, where his primary assignment will 
be managing director of the new Unified Social Ser- 
vices Program of the Church. (See page 51. ) 

The simple conclusion of fellow workers who have 
associated with Elder Ashton is that he is unusually 
gifted to work with people, particularly people who 
have problems. 

"Brother Ashton has real human love for others, 
and genuine understanding"; "he has sensitivity to the 
needs and problems of others"; "a special gift for 
making people comfortable and letting them know 
they are worthwhile"; "a choice sense of humor, the 
kind of wit that puts one at ease"; "complete honesty 
in judgment"; "a strong sense of fair play; with empathy 
for the underdog"; "magnetic leadership"; "intelli- 
gence and compassion"; "ability to help heal the sick 
at heart, and sick of mind"; "the ability to break up a 
tense situation by force of personality." 

These sentiments, expressed by persons who have 
known him well— co-workers on the Mutual Improve- 
ment Association general boards with whom he served 
for 21 years— reflect the characteristics that would 
seem most important for the head of the Church's 
social services agency. 

This agency unifies under one department three pre- 
viously independent child and youth related services: 
( 1 ) Relief Society Social Services, previously primarily 

Marvin J. Ashton, 

By Jay M. Todd 

Assistant Managing Editor 

concerned with child adoption and foster home care 
for disadvantaged babies and youth; (2) Youth Guid- 
ance Program, previously concerned with youth with 
problems; (3) Indian Placement Program, which each 
school year places thousands of Indian students from 
8 to 18 years of age in Latter-day Saint foster homes 
in order to provide Indian youth with more advan- 
tageous educational, cultural, and social opportunities. 

The Unified Social Services Program is under the 
Priesthood Correlation Committee, with Elder Marion 
G. Romney of the Council of the Twelve as chairman, 
and an advisory committee comprised of Elders Spen- 
cer W. Kimball and Thomas S. Monson of the Council 
of the Twelve, Presiding Bishop John H. Vandenberg, 
and President Belle S. Spafford, general president of 
the Relief Society. 

In an interview following his appointment, Elder 
Ashton said, "Our challenge now is to bring these 
three programs into one program, to set up state 
agencies in locations where our Church population 
is heavy enough to merit these services, and to pro- 
vide assistance to members of the Church throughout 
the world, wherever help is needed. We are also 
preparing to place into the hands of the priesthood 
holders of the Church a strong social service program 
that will include the family, home teachers, bishop, 
and stake president. This correlated program follows 
the general pattern of the Church. As Church mem- 
bers, we seem to have been slow in using this channel, 
but it will now be the method through which our 
social services will be furnished." 

Elder Ashton also noted that the agency is concerned 
with parental and marital counseling: "Wherever we 
have youth problems, we also have a need for parental 

Improvement Era 

Assistant totheTwelve 

guidance. Often broken homes or homes providing 
an unsatisfactory environment are part of our concern." 

To assist in this important area of social problems, 
Elder Ashton observed that "we are making plans to 
encourage voluntary involvement of Latter-day Saints 
who have had professional training in numerous areas 
such as counseling, social work, psychiatry, law, and 
related fields. We certainly will not want to over- 
burden these co-workers, but we do hope that through- 
out the Church we can obtain a roster of professional 
and highly qualified voluntary co-workers who can 
assist their fellow Latter-day Saint brothers and sisters 
in an hour of need, when called upon by a bishop and 
stake president." 

Elder Ashton also observed that in time the Uni- 
fied Social Services Program may "assist our young 
Latter-day Saint people who relocate to the major 
cities for employment, but who sometimes find them- 
selves in need of guidance. 

"I am a great believer that what is most important 
in handling our life is to react properly to what hap- 
pens to us now. The past is past. But if people will 
make wise decisions now, they can have opportunity 
to enjoy a healthy and bountiful life." 

Such convictions are not new to Elder Marvin J. 
Ashton. He comes to this calling after many years of 
devoted community, business, and Church service, 
wherein he was respected for his "quiet and frank 
counsel" and for his faith in people. 

Indeed, faith was an important ingredient in his 
early home life. Born May 6, 1915, in Salt Lake City 
to Marvin O. and Rae J. Ashton, young Marvin soon 
acquired the traits inculcated in countless thousands of 
good Latter-day Saint homes. His father was a bishop, 

high councilor, and a member of a stake presidency 
during the years young Marvin grew to manhood. 
Widely beloved for his concern for others and for his 
keen sense of humor, Marvin O. Ashton was called to 
the Presiding Bishopric in 1938, serving until his 
death in 1946. 

Marvin J. Ashton seems to have patterned his life 
after the counsel of his father and mother, who, says 
Elder Ashton, "above all else taught us to put the 
Lord first, and to love the opportunity of working 
with both our hands and heads." As a youth and 
through his teens, he worked in his father's lumber 

After graduation from public schools, he entered 
the University of Utah and was graduated with honors 
in 1936 in business administration. He then accepted 
a call as a missionary to England, where he served as 
associate editor of the Millennial Star and supervising 
elder of the British Mission office, and captained a 
team that won the British Isles national basketball 
championship. His interest in sports was one that 
would never die and would someday benefit the entire 

In 1940 he married Norma Berntson in the Salt Lake 
Temple, and they are the parents of four children: 
John, Stephen, Jonne (Mrs. Dale Wheadon), and 

Following his marriage, Elder Ashton's interests in 
business, civic, Church, and athletic affairs flowered 
into a consistent pattern. As early as 1940, he had as- 
sisted in the direction of an all-Church YMMIA ath- 
letic program. In 1948, after service in ward and stake 
MIA positions, he was called to the MIA general 
board, where he served for 10 years before serving 
another 11 years as a member of the YMMIA general 
superintendency. He was appointed second assistant in 
1958 and first assistant in 1961. Simultaneously, during 
many of these years he served as senior president of a 
quorum of seventies. He was serving as first assistant 
to General Superintendent G. Carlos Smith, Jr., when 
he was called to head the new Unified Social Services 

During those 21 years in MIA leadership, Elder 
Ashton helped expand the athletic program of the 
Church to include junior basketball, junior softball, 
golf, volleyball, and tennis. 

Interestingly, it is Elder Ashton's love of tennis that 
has given him much spirited fun throughout life. He 
began playing when 12 years of age. In 1951, he and 
his wife won the all-Church mixed doubles champion- 
ship, and the same year he and his partner won the 
men's double title. 

Physical activity is still a by-word with him: "No 
matter how busy or how involved you are, you owe it 

December 1969 

to yourself to keep fit. I try to run a mile every day," 
he noted. 

His MIA general board activity brought him into 
contact with the Church scouting program. He was 
a worthy ambassador, for as a youth he had earned 
his Eagle badge. He has been active in scouting 
leadership for 25 years and has served as an executive 
board member of the Great Salt Lake Council and a 
member of the National Council. In 1963 he was 
awarded the Silver Antelope for his service to scouting. 

His MIA assignments have also included the super- 
vision of dance, drama, speech, and music activities. 
He has represented the MIA in assignments all over 
the world, and his warm and helpful advice have 
marked him a respected and admired visitor from 
Church headquarters. 

Professionally, Elder Ashton was a founder and vice- 
president of a wholesale lumber company, and has 
served as president, vice-president, or board member of 
several other firms, including Deseret Book Company 



By Eleanor Knowles 

Editorial Associate 

• The Prophet Joseph Smith, 
when asked how he could govern 
great numbers of the Saints, is 
reported to have replied, "I teach 
them correct principles, and they 
govern themselves." 

This has long been the philos- 
ophy of W. Jay Eldredge, new 
general superintendent of the 
Young Men's Mutual Improvement 
Association. It is a guiding prin- 
ciple he has used with his own 
family, in leadership positions in 
the wards and stakes in which he 
has resided, as a mission presi- 
dent, and as a Regional Repre- 
sentative of the Council of the 

"I intend to emphasize this 
same philosophy in the YMMIA 

also," he said. "We should give 
youth good background in the 
principles of the gospel, for noth- 
ing is as great a motivating factor 
as a strong belief in doctrinal prin- 
ciples. Then we should give them 
a chance to live by and experiment 
with those principles." 

Superintendent Eldredge was 
sustained and set apart as the 
twelfth general YMMIA superin- 
tendent at a meeting of the YMMIA 
and YWMIA general boards Sep- 
tember 17. Sustained as his as- 
sistants were George R. Hill III, 
first assistant superintendent, and 
George I. Cannon, second as- 

Released were Superintendent 
G. Carlos Smith, Jr., who had 

served since October 1962 and 
has recently been called to preside 
over the new Southeast Asia Mis- 
sion; Marvin J. Ashton, first as- 
sistant, who was sustained at the 
October general conference as an 
Assistant to the Council of the 
Twelve; and Superintendent Hill, 
second assistant. 

Superintendent Eldredge, who 
with his new appointment also 
becomes general manager of The 
Improvement Era, was born in 
Salt Lake City on April 27, 1913. 
He attended the old LDS University 
and then the University of Utah 
before leaving for a mission to 
Great Britain. When he returned 
from his mission, he entered busi- 
ness in a school supply company 

Improvement Era 


and Deseret News Publishing Company. 

From 1957 to 1961 he served a term in the Utah 
State Senate, where he spearheaded legislation involv- 
ing youth measures, including the improvement of 
juvenile detention facilities. In 1960 he was chairman 
of the Leisure Time Division of the White House Youth 
Conference Committee for Utah. At the time of his 
appointment as an Assistant to the Council of the 
Twelve, he was a member of the board of trustees of 
the Salt Lake Area Community Action Program for Eco- 

nomic Opportunity, a member of the executive com- 
mittee of the University of Utah Alumni Association 
Board of Control, and a member of the U's Ath- 
letic Board of Control. He is also a member of several 
golf, tennis, and service clubs. 

Obviously, from this vast background of church, 
business, civic, and community service, Elder Marvin J. 
Ashton will be well guided in his new calling as a 
General Authority and as managing director of the 
Unified Social Services Program. Q 

George R. Hill III, first assistant superintendent George I. Cannon, second asst. superintendent G. Carlos Smith, Jr., Southeast Asia Mission 

General Superintendent W. Jay Eldredge 

and later established his own retail 
furniture store. Coming on the 
heels of his new YMMIA appoint- 
ment was the grand opening in 
October of a new branch of his 
thriving furniture business. 

With his many business activi- 
ties, however, he has never ne- 
glected his opportunities to serve 
in the Church nor his family obli- 
gations. In his youth he was 
active in the priesthood and aux- 
iliary programs. ("The MIA pro- 
grams today are much more 
intense and structured than they 
were when I was a youth," he 
remarked.) When he returned 
from his mission he served as a 
ward Sunday School superinten- 
dent before being called as 

ward YMMIA superintendent. One 
of his assistants in the MIA was 
Marvin J. Ashton. 

Other church activities have in- 
cluded 11 years as bishop of the 
Parleys Ward in Salt Lake City; 
member of a high council for four 
years; and president of Parleys 
Stake six years. From 1965- 
68 he presided over the Eastern 
States Mission, during which time 
he witnessed great growth in the 
Church in that area, for this was 
the period immediately after the 
successful New York World's Fair, 
at which so many persons were 
introduced to the gospel and the 
Church through visits to the Mor- 
mon Pavilion. 

Upon his release as mission 

president, Superintendent El- 
dredge was set apart as a Regional 
Representative of the Twelve, with 
responsibility for ten stakes at 
Brigham Young University and one 
at College of Southern Utah. He 
was released from this position 
when the call came to serve in 
the YMMIA. 

Family has always ranked first, 
along with the gospel, in the life 
of the new general superintendent. 
He and his wife, the former Mar- 
jory Hyde, have five children: 
Jay, an M.D., who is specializing 
in pediatric cardiology at the Uni- 
versity of Virginia Medical Hos- 
pital; Heidi (Mrs. William C. Vriens, 
Jr.), of Salt Lake City; Sharon 
(Mrs. Randy Harmson), of Palo 

December 1969 

Alto, California; and Rosemary and 
Brent, students at the University 
of Utah. 

The Eldredge family has strong 
roots in MIA. In addition to the 
children's activities in the auxiliary 
in their youth, Sister Eldredge is 
a member of the YWMIA genera! 
board and is currently serving as 
chairman of the Mia Maid commit- 
tee, while Heidi is a member of 
the YWMIA Laurel committee. 

"A family man with a warm in- 
terest in youth" is how one of 
Superintendent Eldredge's daugh- 
ters describes her father. "He 
knows how to counsel youth and 
take them through their problems 
— how to really reach the spirit 
of the person." 

As the children were growing 
up, Superintendent Eldredge found 
ways to include them in projects 
that helped bring them closer to- 
gether. A woodworking hobbyist, 
he built a chalet-type cabin for the 
family at Brighton, in the moun- 
tains east of Salt Lake City, with 
the entire family helping. "Every 
house — every ward — every stake 
center he has been associated with 
has had a new wing or room built 
on it," his daughter recalls. 

Now Superintendent Eldredge 
will be putting his building inter- 
ests to even greater tasks, as he 
guides the YMMIA in building new 
programs and strong leadership, 
which in turn will help build strong 
young men who will be the leaders 
of the Church tomorrow. 

Supporting, sustaining, and as- 
sisting him in this new task are 
two assistants who between them 
have many years of MIA leadership 

Superintendent Hill, who is di- 
recting age-group activities of the 
YMMIA, has long been active in 
the Scout and Explorer programs. 
He was serving as chairman of the 
Explorer committee when he was 
called as second assistant super- 
intendent in October 1967. His 
experience in scouting goes be- 
yond the confines of the Church, 
however, for he has been active 
on local and national committees 
of the Boy Scouts of America and 
has served as chaplain at both 
national and international Scout 

A graduate of Brigham Young 
University, he received his Ph.D. 
from Cornell University, where he 
taught from 1942-46; he also 

served as president of the Ithaca 
(New York) Branch. He is now 
dean of the College of Mines and 
Mineral Industries at the Univer- 
sity of Utah. 

In addition to his service on 
the YMMIA general board, Super- 
intendent Hill has served as bishop 
of the Holladay Second Ward and 
the Federal Heights Ward in Salt 
Lake City. 

He is married to the former 
Melba Parker, and they are par- 
ents of seven children. 

Superintendent Cannon has 
had a great heritage in MIA 
service, for his mother, Lucy 
Grant Cannon, was fourth general 
president of YWMIA. George 
served on the YMMIA general 
board 12 years before being called 
as bishop of the Parleys Sixth 
Ward in 1963. He was released 
from that position in 1966 to ac- 
cept a call to preside over the 
Central British Mission. As as- 
sistant general superintendent, he 
will be responsible for the activity 
programs of the YMMIA. 

Superintendent Cannon, an in- 
surance company executive, is 
married to the former Isabel Hales, 
and they have seven children, o 

Joseph of Nazareth 
By Eva W. Wangsgaard 

Of all God's servants, Joseph was the one, 
This plain, unschooled, and patient Nazarene, 
With faith enough to take a firstborn son 
As his, though not his own and not foreseen; 
With courage to accept with deep concern 
The trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem, 
The flight from Herod and the slow return, 
Then yield to petal-strewn Jerusalem. 

Our Father must have loved this man to trust 
His hand to guide through childhood's tender 

His mind to shape his thinking, as he must, 
To know the law, mature in mortal strength. 
How much did Joseph mold the boy that he 
Might measure as the Christ, 


Improvement Era 


SS& 5€@@he? 

«;.; *^i»»sjt;5- 


Keeper of the Inn 


///ustrated by Ed Maryon 

the very walls seemed bursting. Men had come 
from distances far off; I rushed to fill 

their glasses, give them choicest meat and bread, 
and show them to their rooms; oh, they were men 
of affluence come to our little town 
to pay their taxes. Was it my fault then 

that when this Joseph and this Mary came 
asking for room, I must say rooms were gone, 
and bed them in the place the cattle were? 
(It seemed her face was radiant as dawn.) 

and wonder touched my guests. Then, suddenly, 

there was a silence and a spread of light 

which filled the earth. There was an infant's cry. 

I should have gone to see him, I suppose. 
Some called him "Son of God." He might have been, 
I should have knelt beside him, touched his hand, 
but it was a busy night that night at my inn. 

The Prophet had 
a solution for todays 
crumbling cities" 

Hp WjJMUMK 3,^ 3 % 

Two views of Scipio, Utah, mark distinctive Mormon features: plank 
fence, huge cottonwood trees, old irrigation ditch, wide roads, 
pastoral setting, equipment and stock on the roadside. 

An old brick Mormon home in Monticello, Utah, is viewed behind an 
irrigation ditch headgate. The irrigation ditches in Mormon com- 
munities generally run along roadside, author says. 

A "stock pile" near a shed in Alpine, Utah, is a common sight in 
old Mormon towns. Firewood, logs, poles, planks, used lumber of 
all varieties are tossed together in case of future need. 

The City of Zion in the 

By Richard V. Francaviglia 

• It has been said that one can learn much about 
people by looking at their towns, and a look at Mormon 
towns is especially interesting. The Latter-day Saints 
did far more than just effectively settle much of the 
Intermountain West: they so indelibly put their stamp 
on the landscape that even today, with modern influ- 
ences in architecture and city planning, a perceptive 

Richard V. Francaviglia gathered material for this article 
while collecting data for his doctoral dissertation for the 
University of Oregon. He "traveled three months, over 
13,000 miles, visited and studied in detail over 40 Mor- 
mon villages in size from 400 to 1,000 persons." 
Calling himself a "Gentile geographer," Mr. Francaviglia 
was endeared to "those warm people who responded to 
my curious questions." After all his study, he says, "I 
am fond of Mormon landscape." 

traveler can tell a Mormon settlement by looking for 
certain clues. 

Some of the communities have been neglected and 
in many cases are mere shadows of their former selves. 
But they too were planted as seeds from Joseph Smith's 
original City of Zion plans. Many such towns have 
remained as small villages, dotting the area from 
southern Arizona to northern Idaho. Since the days 
of Brigham Young, other settlements have been built in 
northern Mexico and western Canada. 

While Salt Lake City grew into the capital of the 
intermountain region, many a small, picturesque vil- 
lage in the Mormon West possesses elements of early 
Salt Lake City, with some modifications. The specific 
plan of Joseph Smith's City of Zion had to be modified, 
for example, to fit into rugged canyons or to avoid 


Improvement Era 

Two views of "Mormon fences": four different sizes and kinds of 
pickets on fence at Oakley, Idaho (note barn, which is typically 
unpainted); right, chapel at Wales, Utah obscured by fences, sheds. 

Scipio, Utah: left, old classic style of barn construction is rapidly 
vanishing from the scene; right, barnyard and corral and "ever- 
lasting hills" of the typical Mormon West. 

Beautiful, small red brick Mormon house in Escalante, Utah, is set 
against stormy backdrop. The author was fascinated with these 
old homes and sheds, often within a block of "downtown." 


riverbeds. The wide streets, so characteristic of Salt 
Lake City, appear in numerous small Mormon towns, 
where some of the less-traveled streets have wide, 
weed-grown shoulders fringing a narrow, used part 
of the road. 

Most of the Latter-day Saints I spoke with, about 
"landscapes associated with the Mormon Church settle- 
ments" could easily tell me about the strict north-south- 
east-west grid layout of their communities. Likewise, 
many knew of the wide streets, also based on the plan 
for the City of Zion. Most persons knew of the irriga- 
tion ditches that line the roadsides. Most persons also 
knew that these ditches were the result of Brigham 
Young's ingenuity to build up agriculture in the semi- 
arid West. Most intermountain Mormons, in other 
words, apparently know the three foremost elements 

Joseph Smith 

as a City Planner 

By Hal Knight 

• As envisioned by the Prophet Joseph Smith, cities 
would be a far cry from the present American urban 
sprawl where towns and suburbs grow together in 
ugly "megalopolis." Pollution, crime, poverty, decay, 
crowded slums, faltering municipal services, rising 
tax costs, and congested traffic have rendered numer- 
ous metropolitan centers nearly unfit for satisfying, 
comfortable living. Despite the enormous population, 
people are strangers to each other — forming what 
has been called "the lonely crowd." 

Efforts to cope with these problems appear to be 
so expensive and complicated that some experts 
have thrown up their hands and claim that it is too 
late for cities to be salvaged at all. 

It is interesting, therefore, that the Prophet Joseph 
Smith would declare, "Let every man live in the city." 
But a close look at the Prophet's 1833 plans for his 
inspired City of Zion shows many features that would 
make living in such a city a genuine satisfaction. 

First, the central idea called for a pleasant com- 
munity of strictly limited size. It might be one mile 
square, as was planned for Independence, Missouri, 
or it might be two miles square, as was mapped out 
for Far West, Missouri — but it was of a definite pre- 
planned size. 

Second, a green belt of extensive meadows and 
farm lands should surround the city. Suburbs would 
not exist. Everyone would live "in town." When the 
town was fully occupied, a similar community of per- 
haps identical size and with a greenbelt of meadows 
and farm lands would be laid out at another location, 
and in this manner "fill up the world in these last 
days," the Prophet declared. 

The one-mile square cities would have a popula- 
tion of 15,000 to 20,000, big enough to be classi- 

Hal Knight, mission president of the Taylorsville West 
Stake, is science editor for Deseret News, Church-owned 
newspaper in Salt Lake City. 

Articles continued on page 14 

December 1969 


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December 1969 

Old style "Nauvoo house" of two communities: left, abandoned 
wood house at Nephi, Utah; right, early fall snow in Fountain Green, 
Utah, paints beautiful rural setting — "Nauvoo house" is in rear. 

Old hay derrick, bales of hay, sheds, and equipment frame steeple 
of Levan (Utah) Ward chapel. Hay derricks are closely associated 
with Mormons, even called "Mormon derrick" or "Mormon stacker." 

in platting a Mormon town: strict grid, wide street, 
and ditch. 

But is this all? Are there other elements associated 
with Mormon settlements that are not usually found 
in non-Mormon-founded settlements? Some Saints 
could tell me, and some could not. T shall, therefore, 

review some of the other elements that to me are 
typically Mormon or that form an important part of 
the typical Mormon village scene. 

Basic to our discussion is the fact that Joseph Smith, 
Brigham Young, and many early Church leaders had 
definite ideas as to what a Mormon place should look 

fied as a city in Joseph Smith's day, but small enough 
to avoid the mistakes of big cities today. 

Central to the Prophet's plans was the division of 
the city into ten-acre blocks, each block divided into 
half-acre lots, allowing plenty of room for gardens and 
lawns. No blanket of concrete would bury nature. No 
lot would contain more than one house, and each 
house would be built back 25 feet from the street, 
with a front yard of trees and shrubs — a "grove," in 
the Prophet's words. The rest of the lot was for 
gardens. Every house would be of brick or stone. 

In the center of town would be the municipal, 
religious, and educational buildings. Land was to 
be laid off south and north of the city for farms suffi- 
cient to feed the city, and if needed, land to the east 
and west of the city would also be used for these 
purposes. In a modern version, some of this farm 
land probably would be used for manufacturing and 
industry. (In the West the Saints increased the size 
of their lots and kept their farm buildings in town.) 

The whole picture presented by this plan is one of 
a pleasant pastoral community without slums or ugly 
crowding. Such a place offers the vision of a well- 
ordered existence. It combines the cultural and 
social advantages of city life with the pleasures of 
a small town — the kind of life style usually asso- 
ciated with the nostalgic "good old days." 

With this background, Latter-day Saints should find 
the discussions of today's learned and creative mod- 
ern city planners of great interest. Indeed, a surpris- 
ing number of city planners have suggested concepts 
that have a true ring to the kind of thing Joseph Smith 

For example, Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus, president of 

Philadelphia's Franklin Institute, proposes cities of 
the future somewhat similar to the above-mentioned 
concepts, except on a larger scale. 

"If cities, with a population of some 250,000 each, 
were scattered evenly across the U.S., we would not 
have the population problems, traffic problems, riots 
and many other ills that develop when cities become 
too large," he has said. 

According to Dr. Spilhaus, the important element 
is to keep enough reserved land around the city so 
that it will not be ruined by suburbs. "The major 
trouble with present cities is that they spread like 
cancers instead of being of controlled size and kept 
as an operating, clean machine for living." He advo- 
cates a city with a density of 100 people per acre, 
meaning a town of 2,500 acres, just over four square 
miles. To preserve its identity, cleanliness, and char- 
acter, it might need 100 times this area surrounding 
the city as an insulating area. 

"People concentrate in cities to escape the rigors 
of climate, maximize social, cultural, and business 
contacts with others, with a minimum of travel," but 
he notes that pollution comes from concentration, 
and that if the population were dispersed across a 
land in small cities, "there would probably be no 
pollution problem." 

Latter-day Saints should find the comparisons in- 
teresting. Unfortunately, most American cities came 
into being without any particular planning or control. 
But as we help carry our share of civic and political 
responsibilities in life, perhaps one of the great 
messages of the Prophet Joseph Smith can be put to 
more effective and widespread use — plan ahead for 
a more sensible way to live. O 


Improvement Era 


Distinctive colonial style of chapel and stake house at La Jara, 
Colorado, is typical of many Church chapels built within past 20 
years. Author found style "bold and yet simple." 

Old-style Mormon houses: left, old brick home at Alpine, Utah; 
right, home and fence, irrigation ditch, wide streets were also seen 
in Arizona Mormon towns. This is Snowflake. 

like. Joseph Smith never saw a Utah town, but his 
early words on planning a beautiful, orderly city like 
Nauvoo were so strong that they affected practically 
every Mormon settlement in the West. Brigham 
Young tried his best to carry through with those 
original ( 1833 ) plans, which gave specific instructions 
for such things as gardens, orchards, house location, 
and type of material with which to build houses. 

As it evolved, the Mormon town in the West became 
a combination of Nauvoo and a sturdy, commonsense 
farming community. The mountains were not only 
beautiful— they supplied life-giving water to the village. 

The typical LDS village is located in a valley with 
hills and mountains looming close behind. Brigham 
Young loved the mountains and saw them as protectors 
of sequestered villages that could thrive in peace. Many 
a Latter-day Saint today still feels this deep sense of 
attachment to the lofty peaks that seem to stand guard 
over his home. 

In contrast to non-Mormon-founded settlements, 
Mormons were to live in town and travel outward to 
their large farmlands, which ideally surrounded the 
village. The Mormon farmer had at least an acre, 
and often two and one-half acres, right in town on 
which he could build his home, farm buildings, and 
corral, Often a large town block of 10 acres was 
divided into only four lots of generous size, with the 
house constructed near the street corner of the lot 
and no houses closer than 25 feet to the street. Thus, 
a predominantly rural feeling persisted, as contrasted 
with the eight or ten houses to a block style in non- 
Mormon-founded communities. 

Pastures, barns, and gardens were usually located 
in the middle of blocks except the most central one, 
"the downtown square." In a non-Mormon-founded 
settlement, farm houses, barns, and "rural life" are 
generally found outside the town limits, and no lots 
in town are really large. The large Mormon blocks 
with their pastures, barns, and granaries form quite an 
impression on the non-Mormon visitor. 

Aside from the rural quality, one of the first things 
that may strike the traveler about a Mormon town is 

the substantial architecture. Mormons are a home- 
loving people and stress family life and large families. 
The home is the focus of life, and having a solid home 
is a desire that reaches back to the days of Joseph 
Smith. The plans for the original" City of Zion called 
for "all homes to be built of brick and stone." Nauvoo 
had many brick homes. In Utah, Brigham Young 
and other Church leaders urged that buildings be 
made permanent, and brickmaking was an early prac- 
tice in the Mormon West. While some homes are 
constructed of wood, the typical LDS town has a high 
percentage of brick and stone dwellings, and sturdy 
brick ranch-style homes with heavy roof line and old 
Greek pediment are a favorite in the Mormon West. 
I think it is safe to say that any small town in the 
West having more than half of its houses built of 
brick will be a Mormon town. Panguitch, Utah, and 
Oakley, Idaho, are classic examples, as is Snowflake, 

Not only building material, but also certain house 
styles are associated with Mormon settlements. The 
old "Nauvoo style" house, as it was called by some, is a 
tall, two-story home with one chimney at each end, 
and is generally built of brick or stone. There is not 
a more substantial type of house in all the West, and 
it bears a direct correlation with pre- 1900 Mormon 

Even the orchard and garden were anticipated, for 
the plan for the City of Zion called for space to be 
allotted near the home for garden and orchard. Per- 
haps no people as a whole, it seems to me, love their 
gardens more than Mormons. Gardens are present in 
non-Mormon-founded towns, too, but not to the extent 
that they are in the LDS communities. Brigham Young 
and other Church leaders encouraged the Saints to 
plant flowers and gardens to beautify Zion. 

Ideally, the Mormon village has a profusion of shade 
trees. Brigham Young was fond of these. And while 
there are no plants, bushes, or trees that I know of 
that are purely "Mormon," the Lombardy poplar is a 
tree that is— and was even more so in the past— closely 
associated with the Mormons. Tall and stately, 


December 1969 


"The basic plan of almost 

every Mormon town was the plan of 

Joseph Smith's City of Zion " 

Lombardy poplars (sometimes called "Mormon poplars") rise like 
spires near grassy sidewalk at Oakley, Idaho (left). English style 
house at Lewiston Idaho, shows architecture Mormons used. 

rows of poplars seem to stand like sentinels along 
many a street and field-border in Mormon country. 
Many folk can remember when these beautiful trees 
were much more common. In some areas they are 
now almost extinct, victims of a widespread worm-like 
infestation several decades ago, and only their dead, 
grotesque bundles of branches and gnarled trunks 
remain, marking an end in some areas to a most beauti- 
ful and effective windbreak. Some people have con- 
sidered the poplar to be a Mormon tree. If it is, it 
appears to be a dying symbol. 

As already noted, behind most of the homes and 
gardens in the typical Mormon town is the barnyard, 
and what a fantastic array of old wood structures it 
contains! Usually at right angles to each other, the 
barns and granaries are as a rule unpainted, weathered 
to a silver gray or brownish-golden sheen by the fiery 
western sun and icy blasts of countless seasons. The 
dilapidated barnyard often stands in direct contrast 
to the neat house. In some areas, log construction is 
still to be seen in barns and granaries. Some of these 
relics may have been built early in the pioneer period, 
and often they appear to be propped up by the hay 
inside them and precious little else. 

Perhaps no other element in the landscape reveals 
the attitude of the Mormon farmer more vividly than 
the fence. There may be miles of rail and post fence 
in a typical Latter-day Saint village. The "old Mormon 
fence," as some Saints call it, is truly a eolorful if not 
shabby part of the landscape. Usually a vertical assem- 
blage of old pickets, planks, boards, and posts, all 
unpainted, this type of fence is associated with virtu- 
ally all of the older Mormon settlements I studied. 
Apparently, with such a large lot, and so many 
different uses for it, the farmer must find inexpensive 
materials in quantity to use for fence building and 
repair. The "Mormon fence" is just such an answer. 

Another highly "Mormon" element is the hay der- 
rick that many Latter-day Saint villagers remember, 
and some even continue to use. It is a curious pole- 
like element in a farmyard scene already cluttered with 

posts, stieks, and poles. This hay derrick is perhaps 
more Mormon than most Latter-day Saint farmers 
realize. Toward the fringes of the cultural region, 
it is actually called the "Mormon hay derrick" or "Mor- 
mon stacker." Except for a few small areas outside 
those settled by Latter-day Saints, the hay derrick is 
generally found only where Mormons live. Hence, 
Mormons may have invented it or brought it with 

I suspect that the hay derrick in its several main 
varieties is about as Mormon as a Relief Society quilt. 
Even if it is not used, it may continue to remain in the 
possession of a farmer who might "someday use the 
parts for something." In the meantime, it may lay 
mortally wounded in a barnyard, its pole decapitated 
from its sturdy base or, lacking a pulley, its fraying 
rope swinging idly in the breeze. Near the old hay 
derrick is often a huge rectangular golden or greenish 
stack of hay, composed of scores of smaller bales, 
giving a sense of order to the helter-skelter barnyard 

Judging from the looks of the barnyard, many Mor- 
mons in the rural West prefer to hold onto things that 
they just may need to use for repairs or rebuilding. 
These; old stockpiles may be considered by some to 
be eyesores, but they serve an important purpose to the 
frugal farmer. If any disaster occurs, he has a valuable 
source of building material, parts, and firewood. Pre- 
paredness has always been a cherished Mormon virtue. 

Interestingly, it was less than ten years after the 
arrival of the Saints in the West that President George 
A. Smith of the First Presidency told the Saints at 
Parowan "to remove all lumber, wood, hen houses, &c. 
to the rear of our houses, and keep our front yards and 
side walks neat and tidy." (From the Parowan Stake 
Historical Record, February 10, 1856. ) Brigham Young 
himself had been known to issue stern warnings about 
the appearance of the Saints' homes and cities. 

The City of Zion plan, as applied to the West, has 
an overwhelmingly rural quality. Amid this rustic, 
open landscape is the business or commercial part of 


Improvement Era 

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This "typical scene" of a Mormon farming vil/age is at Paragonah, 
Utah. Mixture of p/an/c and rai7 fence, house style, barn, and hills 
mark this as "Mormon Country," according to the author. 

Two old Mormon buildings that had special service in earlier years: 
left, beautiful "endowment hall" at Spring City, Utah; right, old 
Relief Society building with bell at Bicknell, Utah. 

the town. This is usually along the wide, paved main 
street. Aside from the lack of bars, there is nothing 
especially "Mormon" about this part of town. And 
yet, the fact that a barn or pasture is visible from many 
parts of the city center definitely is characteristic of 
the Mormon village. Sheep may graze idly and horses 
lazily flick their tails, and more than one old barn can 
be seen— all from the steps of the post office or city hall. 
Many a Mormon parent has told me of the virtues of 
bringing up children "close to nature, with room to 
have fun." 

The real center of such towns, however, is not the 
city hall or business district at all, but the LDS ward 
chapel. Only a few towns or cities could boast of a 
temple, but every Mormon town has its solid chapels. 
Usually located on or close to the old square or park— 
and almost always within sight of the school— such a 
chapel is a study in simplicity and boldness. Its loca- 
tion so close to the public school symbolizes the 
dynamic stress on both religion and education that 
pervades Mormon life. The ward building serves 
more than just for church on Sunday: it is a utilitarian 
building, where civic and neighborly meetings are 
held, where young people are instructed and even 
have fun, and where quilts might be made. 

The gleaming spire and bricks of the chapel may 
present a striking contrast to the rustic farm-like qual- 
ity of the village. Where the village landscape is open, 
the spire can be seen for several blocks, crowning 
pastures, barnyards, hay derricks, and solid old homes, 
as well as some new ones. Mormon chapel architec- 
ture is so distinctive that almost all people I talked 
with could recognize a Latter-day Saint chapel im- 

Even some of the old welfare halls, tithing offices, 
and bishops storehouses— most of which are fast dis- 
appearing, with the exception of those saved by groups 
interested in local history— also have a solid but simple 
architecture. They were often of stone or brick- 
typically "Mormon." Today, many of their functions 
are carried on in the new chapels. The non-Mormon- 

founded towns never had a counterpart for these 

The basic plan of almost every Mormon town was 
the plan of Joseph Smith's City of Zion. Local con- 
ditions in the West produced some curious differences, 
but the Mormon village can be characterized as a 
spacious rural village, usually with wide streets, irri- 
gation ditches, poplars, orchards, gardens, solid homes, 
barns and granaries right in town, and with old 
bleached fences made of almost anything available. 
The chapel is dominant in the scene. Towns such as 
Taylor and Joseph City, Arizona; Fayette, Scipio, 
Escalante, and Alpine, Utah; Lewisville and Franklin, 
Idaho, fit the description. 

Indeed, it is almost symbolic that the tribute "In 
Huntsville" by Mabel Jones Gabbott (The Improve- 
ment Era, September 1969, p. 14), a tribute to the 
birthplace and early home of President David O. 
McKay, in its first lines could well describe any one 
of several hundred Mormon villages: 

"Who would know, 

seeing the grass-grown road 

wind into the pebbled driveway, 
The high-roofed barns, 

sagging beneath the season's weight 

of time and weather, 
The trees grown taller through the years, 

thrusting from slender saplings 

sturdy trunks, and leafy branches, 
The rail fence warped and worn, and the small slat 

The rolling fields and hills, 

the sturdy homes. . . ." 

The small town that was the early environment for 
President McKay is not unique in the Mormon West. 
These Mormon villages have always contained the 
embryonic elements of a holy city, tempered by the 
realities of pioneer life. The tribute to Huntsville is 
a tribute to everv Mormon town, as is a tribute to 
President McKay a tribute to every Mormon. O 

December 1969 


• In a revelation on Church 
organization and govern- 
ment contained in Section 
20 of the Doctrine and 
Covenants, the Lord gave 
to the members of the 
priesthood an assignment 
to "watch over the church" 
(D&C 20:42) and to "visit 
the house of each member, 
exhorting them to pray vo- 
cally and in secret and 
attend to all family duties" 
(D&C 20:51). 

A further search of the 
scriptures reveals how those engaged in home teaching 
can effectively accomplish their work. 

Section 50 of the Doctrine and Covenants contains 
directions from the Lord to the elders who were then 
attempting to teach the gospel but had become con- 
fused as to how it should be done. He told them that 
teaching was a matter of receiving and giving: obtain- 
ing the Spirit, receiving understanding, and then giving 
it to another. He said we receive understanding by 
conversing and reasoning with the Lord and with 

Suggestions on how 
to receive and give 


another face to face in order 
to strengthen a brother. 

In this same revelation, 
by asking a question, the 
Lord gives the key to 
the accomplishment of his 
work, and this is most im- 
portant to success in home 

"Wherefore, I the Lord 
ask you this question— unto 
what were ye ordained? 

"To preach my gospel by 
the Spirit, even the Com- 
forter which was sent forth 
to teach the truth." (D&C 50:13-14.) 

We are then cautioned not to be misled by false 
spirits or false ideas, concerning which there is a way 
to know: "Behold ye shall answer this question your- 
selves; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto you; he 
that is weak among you hereafter shall be made 
strong." (D&C 50:16.) 

This last statement recalls that, as a part of his final 
instructions to the Twelve at the Last Supper, Christ 
said: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to 
one another. We give it by conversing and reasoning have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have 
with each other, man to man and face to face. This prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou 
suggests the principle of oral evaluation, a vital part art converted, strengthen thy brethren." (Luke 22:31- 
of home teaching. 32. Italics added.) 

This principle is defined by the Lord: To me, this is a clear definition of how the oral 

"And now come, saith the Lord, by the Spirit, unto evaluation used effectively can solve many family 
the elders of his church, and let us reason together, problems. Christ conversed with God in prayer con- 
that ye may understand; cerning Simon Peter; he then reasoned with him face 
"Let us reason even as a man reasoneth one with to face, admonishing him to see that his faith failed 
another face to face. not. His declaration "when thou art converted" per- 
"Now, when a man reasoneth he is understood of tains, no doubt, to the receiving of the Spirit. Of this, 
man, because he reasoneth as a man; even so ivill I, the the Lord has said in another revelation to the Prophet 
Lord, reason with you that you may understand." Joseph Smith: 

(D&C 50:10-12. Italics added.) 

"I, the Lord, reason with you that you may under- 
stand." What a glorious invitation— to reason with the 
Lord as one man reasoneth with another. And then, 

"And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer 
of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not 
teach." (D&C 42:14.) 

The Lord warns us that if we teach in some other 

having thus learned, we are invited to reason one with way, it is not of him, for he said: 


Improvement Era 

How OTrdEvolvotkm 



By President Alvin R. Dyer 

Counselor in the First Presidency 

"Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me 
and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Com- 
forter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the 
Spirit of truth or some other way? 

"And if it be by some other way it is not of God." 
(D&C 50:17-18. Italics added.) 

Let's see how this receiving and giving principle 

process, which involves preparation of the spirit so 
it will be both receptive to inspiration from the Lord 
and able to give in a convincing, spiritual tone. Paul 
put it this way: ". . . they which preach the gospel 
should live of the gospel." (1 Cor. 9:14.) 

We know that living the gospel is essential to having 
the Holy Ghost dwell with the home teacher that he 

works in home teaching through the oral evaluation, may guide his families. This performance is equally 

which is simply reasoning one with another in the 
responsibility of watching over the members. 

There may be some who feel that the process of 
receiving is simply a matter of praying to the Lord 
and then waiting patiently for an answer. But as we 

as important to the giving phase of communication. 
One cannot give the Spirit if he does not possess it; 
one cannot love others and help them if he is guilty 
about his own performance. Rather, he will likely be 
critical, suspicious, and ineffective in all communica- 

have all come to know, the Lord doesn't always work tion, both receiving and giving. 

that way. It is required of us first that we study the Now, having studied what the Lord has already 

problem out in our minds, much as the Prophet studied revealed and having conformed to gospel principles, 

out the translation of the Book of Mormon. Then, 
having arrived at a solution, we submit it to the Lord 
in prayer. We reason with him "by the Spirit," that 
we may understand. If our solution is correct, we 
can expect to receive an answer. 

we must study out possible solutions. We then ap- 
proach the Lord in prayer and reason with him "as one 
man reasoneth with another": that we may gain under- 

The priesthood bearer is ordained of God and 

This procedure was clearly explained by the Lord appointed to be the "possessor of all things; for all 

to Hyrum Smith by revelation to the Prophet Joseph, things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on 

". . . first seek to obtain my word, and then shall earth, the life and the light, the spirit and the power, 

your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus 

have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God Christ his Son." (D&C 50:26-27.) 

unto the convincing of men." (D&C 11:21.) This is our promise if we will but follow the plan of 

There is still another important step in the receiving receiving and giving that the Lord has given us. O 

December 1969 




lail! Pi! 

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3 ' ; 

1 B 

AndThanks for 
Those Neat Ski ppirV Rocks 

By Janis Hutchinson 

Illustrated by Jerry Harston 

Ruth Harkley gave the smooth dough one more hard 

knead, separated it into loaves, and plopped the small 

)ulks into the greased bread pans, covering them with 

clean white dish towel. With a toss of her head, she 
flipped a brown lock back from her oval face, sighed, 
len went to the sink and turned the water on. 

She looked at her hands as she rubbed them together 
beneath the tap. Not very pretty ones, she thought. 
They were short, with stubby fingers and blunt nails. 
She remembered her son Bobby asking, "How come 
your hands aren't like Cathy's mommy's?" How she 
wished for smooth hands and slender fingers. How 
could her husband, Ralph, stand to hold them? 

She glanced at the clock. Her whole day's schedule 
had fallen behind. In a way she was glad Ralph had 
to work late that night. Turning, she threw on a heavy 
sweater that was hanging on a nearby hook and 
quickly picked up the old black coal bucket. . Leaving 
the warm, spicy-smelling kitchen, she opened the back- 
door and stepped out into the December cold. Bobby, 
quite proud of his five years, appeared around the 
corner of the house. 

She called to him as she reached the coal pile. "Go 
on in now. Time for bed." 

Bobby rushed up. "Look, Mommy," he shouted, 
stretching out a mud-covered palm. "What kind of a 
bug is this?" 

Ruth winced. "Do you have to be so loud, Bobby? 
And you're so dirty— why can't you stay clean like 
little girls do? And where's your hat? Your ears are 
all red." 

Raising her hands, she pressed them against his ears. 

"Boy, Mommy, your hands smell pretty! Do you 
have perfume on them?" 

"No, dear— just the smell of bread dough." 

"Can I have something to eat before I go to bed?" 

"Yes, yes. Put your bug somewhere and go on in 
now," she continued, as she finished filling the bucket; 
then she added, "You can plug in the Christmas tree 
lights when you go in." 

She looked at the dry black cracks on the sides of 
her fingers. She guessed she ought to wear gloves, but 
it seemed like such a bother. Next year they'd have 
their new oil furnace installed. She had been some- 
what ashamed to have anyone see that in this day and 
age they were so behind in their heating methods, but 
then, buying an old house and fixing it up took time, 
she thought impatiently. 

She reentered the back door, wearily set the creaky 
bucket down, and lifted the squeaky stove lid to toss a 
few lumps of coal onto the burning grate. The roar of 
the blaze echoed through the stovepipe, throwing off 
a delicious warmth. 

"Am I clean enough?" asked Bobby, thrusting his 
hands up to her face. 

"Oh, Bobby," she said, "just look at those finger- 
nails. They're black!" 

"I just been diggin' dirt, that's all," he replied in a 
matter-of-fact tone. "You know, Mommy— what if I 

Janis Hutchinson, of the Elko (Nevada) Ward, is a part- 
time writer, mother of three, and an active Church 
worker. She sums up her story thus: "At times even 
mothers tend to forget what's really important." 

'•( :ii 
i h; 

December 1969 


didn't have fingernails? It'd take me forever to dig. 
Guess Heavenly Father sure knew I'd be needing 'em." 

"Well," she said, more hesitantly and somewhat more 
softly, "give them one more cleaning with the scrub 
brush. Then hurry up to the table. I'm tired and 
ready for bed myself, and I've still got bread to finish." 

Bobby scrambled onto his stool, bowed his head, 
and said a quick blessing on the snack of bread and 
peaches. With weary effort, Ruth asked him to pass 
the bread. 

"Flying saucer coming in for landing!" he squealed, 
as the bread came whizzing through the air, barely 
missing a jam bottle. 

"Bobby! What if company were here?" 

"I forgot, Mommy," he said. 

She methodically buttered her bread and sat in 
silence through the remainder of their snack. 

While Ruth cleared the table, Bobby began strug- 
gling to take his shirt off. As she leaned over to help 
pull his overalls over his shoes, a conglomeration of 
rocks of all sizes came tumbling out of the pockets. 

Ruth sighed. "Can't you leave these outside?" 

"But look, Mommy— look at this one. See how flat 
and smooth? This is the kind I'm saving to take to the 
lake next summer. And look at this one— and this 
one . . ." 

Holding one of the extra-special flat ones with three 
fingers, he leaned over sideways and sent it skimming 
across the room over the faded and worn rug until it 
bounced back from the opposite wall. 

"Oh, Bobby, summer's many months away yet. 
Dump them in the wastebasket. It's just more stuff 
to have to find a place for." 

Bobby sadly gathered the rocks up and slowly 
dumped them into the tall wastebasket standing in the 
corner. Tears welled up in his eyes. 

"They're awful good skippin' rocks, Mommy," he 
said quietly. 

Ruth felt frustrated within herself. "Okay, okay. 
Save just a few— but only a few." 

Bobby dived head first into the wastebasket, and 
after a few seconds of close scrutiny, he salvaged three, 
then headed for his bedroom. 

Soon his head reappeared around the corner. "If 
I promise to go right to sleep, will you turn on some 
Christmas music?" 

His words sent a pang through Ruth's heart. "All 
right, the tree does look prettier when there's music 
on, doesn't it?" 

She heard the scampering feet, a pause, then the 
loud grind of bedsprings. 

"Bobby— how many times ... oh well," she sighed. 
"Are you all in?" 

"Yep— I'm ready, Mommy." Bobby's voice was sud- 

denly reverent. "Put the one on about the quiet night 
the baby Jesus was born, and the one about where 
he lived." 

She set the records of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" 
and "Silent Night" on the spindle and paused for a 
moment as the strains of "Silent night, holy night, all 
is calm . . ." came flowing out in peaceful magnificence. 

A moment's joy rested upon Ruth as she turned the 
ceiling light out and gazed about the room. Bright 
greens gleaming with glistening berries in the warm 
glow of the colored lights transformed the room into 
soft coziness. 

Bobby's low voice, almost a whisper, called, 

She went into his room and sat down on the edge 
of the bed. 

"I like that song. Everybody sure must have loved 
the baby Jesus to be so quiet on the night he was 
born." After a solemn pause, he added, "I think his 
mother must have loved him just like you do me, huh?" 

Ruth gave him a meaningful squeeze. 

"And I guess Jesus knew when his mother was cross 
at him that she still loved him." 

Ruth felt repentant. "You know that too, don't you, 

"Yep, I guess so. Here comes the Bethlehem 

"O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee 
lie . . ." 

"Was Bethlehem like our town, Mommy?" 

"Oh, I imagine so, except it probably didn't have as 
many people living in it as our town." 

"Did Bethlehem have any mountains? It'd be awful 
if Jesus didn't have any mountains to slide down. Re- 
member when me and Daddy slid down on those 
cardboard pieces? I bet his mommy let him have lots 
of fun finding bugs and worms— and even skippin' 
rocks. Do you think he kept clean all the time?" 

Tears of penitence and a newfound understanding 
welled up within Ruth. She managed to say, trying 
to ignore the lump in her throat, "Oh, I imagine the 
boy Jesus was quite like you. He probably had moun- 
tains to explore, and caught worms and spiders, and 
perhaps he found rocks to skip along the water's top, 

"Boy, Mom— he was sure lucky, just like me!" 

With an overwhelming awareness, Ruth loved her 
son more than ever. 

"Mommy, when res'rection day comes, will I go up?" 

"Of course you will," she replied, surprised. 

"Will he let me take a toy?" 

She smiled. "I'm sure he'll let you." 

"Can I dig?" 

Ruth nodded. ■*- 


Improvement Era 



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Residents of Utah add 4Vi% sales tax. 

December 1969 


"Can I get dirty?" 

"I'm sure our Heavenly Father will let you do it if 
it will make you happy." 

Ruth's thoughts were sad. If the Lord were here, 
he'd have a lot more patience in putting up with the 
things that were important to Bobby. Why did she 
let her tiredness make her so impatient and annoyed? 
Had she forgotten her own childhood and the wonder- 
ful world that had been hers? 

"Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, Bobby. 
That's why we should remember to thank him for 
everything— especially this Christmas time." She 
looked down at Bobby's head, as he bowed for his 

"I can say it myself, Mommy," he declared. "Now 
don't you help me." 

"I won't," she smiled. 

Bobby's small voice hesitated for a moment, then 
began. "Dear Father in heaven, thank you for my 
house and clothes, and for our pretty Christmas tree. 
Thank you for Mommy and Daddy, and for Mommy's 
hands that smell so pretty." 

She smiled wistfully at her hands as she scratched 
at a small piece of bread dough that still stubbornly 
clung to one finger. 

"Thank you for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, 
and wiggly worms to tie knots in." 

A long pause came. Ruth quietly leaned forward to 
prompt, "Help me—" 

"Shhh, Mom," came his exasperated voice. "I can 
say it!" Then his voice lowered and became reverent 
once more. 

"Thank you for kitty's soft fur, and for gravelly 
mountains to slide down, and— oh yes, for making 
those neat skippin' rocks. And thank you for the 
light switches and our beautiful furniture . . ." 

Tears sprang up in Ruth's eyes. Her glance took in 
the not-so-modern dresser and the worn linoleum 

"Oh yes, thank you for Christmas— and thank you for 
fingernails to scratch dirt with. In the name of Jesus. 

As Bobby hopped up into bed, Ruth leaned over to 
tuck his covers around him. 

"I like you to do that, Mommy. Know why?" 

Ruth shook her head. 

" 'Cause you make me feel little and warm. I bet 
Mary always kissed Jesus when he went to sleep too." 

She leaned down and kissed him on the cheek. 

"Night, Mommy," Bobby said sleepily. "I really said 
a good one this time, didn't I?— and without you 
helping me." 

"You sure did. Good night, Bobby. See you in the 

Flipping off the light, she stood for a moment look- 
ing at him in the glow that streamed in from the 
Christmas tree lights. The last strains of "O Little 
Town of Bethlehem" filled the house. 

"How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is 
given! So God imparts, to human hearts, the blessings 
of his heaven." 

Boys looked as sweet as girls when they were asleep, 
she thought, smiling. She thought about his prayer 
and his gratitude for the simple things that were 
important to him in his little life. 

In these modern times she knew she had let her 
desires for what others had tip the scales in her balance 
of values. She wished suddenly that life could go 
back to being simple again, as it was in the beginning 
and when Jesus lived. 

■ What if the TV was broken— it wasn't serious. It 
wasn't a life-and-death matter simply because their 
armchair didn't match the sofa. No— she didn't have 
an electric dishwasher. But doing the dishes by hand 
helped keep her hands soft. 

She decided she had something more important. 
She had a secure home where a love for the gospel 
abounded; a husband who loved her; food and clothes; 
a roof over their heads— and a child. And right now 
she appreciated that more than anything. What would 
she ever do if she didn't have Bobby? Maybe he 
wasn't as quiet and clean as a girl, but at least he made 
life interesting. And if they bought store bread every 
day, Bobby would miss that "pretty" smell of the 
yeasty dough on her hands. 

Wasn't that what life was really all about? To add 
meaning and happiness to someone else's life, and to 
enjoy the simple things that God created and meant 
for everyone to enjoy— like gravelly mountains to slide 
down on, and those skippin' rocks? Yes, she could even 
feel grateful now for fingernails to scratch dirt with. 

How foolish she had been! Tomorrow, she thought, 
I'll be more patient and less condemning. Starting 
tomorrow I'll show Bobby I appreciate his world so 
filled with the simple things that I've forgotten how 
to appreciate— and what's more important, I'll be satis- 
fied with my own blessings. 

She walked back to Bobby's bed, leaned over, and 
kissed his freckled nose. As she pressed his small hand, 
she noticed the dirt still tucked beneath his finger- 
nails and wondered if long ago the child Jesus had 
found dirt and insects so fascinating. She rather felt 
that he had. Maybe, she decided, that was why he 
had such a profound love for children, why he could 
be so understanding. 

Tiptoeing out of the room, she suddenly found her- 
self, surprised but pleased, rooting in the wastebasket 
for the rest of those beautiful skippin' rocks. O 


Improvement Era 

The Sacred Grove 
By Ruby L. Anders 

/ 'walked into the silence of the 

Sacred Grove 
When spring's green first began 

to show 
And purple violets blossomed all 

I wonder, did they blossom there 

that day 
As Joseph knelt to pray? 
Did soft spring wind caress his 

As he knelt there, the Father's 

will to seek? 

I came again in warmth of sum- 

And watched as sunlight 

Streamed through lacy filigree 
of leaves. 

I touched with reverence the 
bark of trees 

And wondered if the Prophet 
touched them too, 

There on his knees. 

Did he come here in summertime 

To feel again the spirit of the 

Where he saw Jesus and the 
Father face to face ? 

And then in hush of autumn I 

When leaves were flame and 

And hint of chill rode in the 

And rain clouds gathered low. 
Did he come here in rain and 

autumn haze 
To gather strength for dark and 

troubled days? 

In winter snow I walk the now 
familiar path 

And stand in solitude among the 
barren trees; 

No song of birds, no flaming 

No soft caress of wind, and yet — 

A gloiving peace prevails within 
my breast. 

And now I surely know the rea- 

I come to this blessed place 

In every season. 

December 1969 



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Hawaii Temple is encircled by pineapple fields, Koolau Mountains in background, visitors center in foreground. 

• Although the temperature was 
near freezing in many areas of the 
United States on Thanksgiving 
Day, November 27, 1919, the 
weather was ideal at Laie on the 
island of Oahu, Hawaii. Both the 
weather and the day were appro- 
priate and symbolic, for after more 
than 50 years of waiting, members 
of the Church in Hawaii were 
celebrating the dedication of a 
sacred temple. 

The white concrete and volcanic 
rock temple is located some 40 
miles from Honolulu on a hill over- 
looking 6,500 acres once known as 
Laie Plantation. In ancient times, 
the area had served as a city of 
refuge for Hawaiians seeking pro- 
tection from the tyrannical rulers 
of the kingdom. In later years the 
area would become not only a 
haven of spiritual rest but would 
also reflect the heritage of faith 
coupled with hard work, a symbol 
that characterizes the Latter-day 
Saint community in Hawaii and 
the rest of the Pacific, where the 

members of the Church now num- 
ber over 100,000. 

Today, in addition to the Hawaii 
Temple, Laie is also the home of 
the Polynesian Cultural Center, 
developed in 1964 to preserve the 
culture of the peoples of the Paci- 
fic. This "living museum" has at- 
tracted more than one million 
visitors to Laie. The center is also 
designed to assist in the support of 
Polynesian students working their 
way through school at the nearby 
Church College of Hawaii, which 
is the second largest institution of 
higher learning in Hawaii. The 
temple site itself attracts about 
1,000 visitors each day. 

Though the college and cultural 
centers are perhaps best known in 
the eyes of the general public, this 
does not detract from the eternal 
function of the Hawaii Temple. 
In addition to the ordinances per- 
formed in the past 50 years for 
Polynesians, an increasing amount 
of temple work is being done for 
Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos, and 

Koreans. These peoples comprise 
more than one-third of Hawaii's 
cosmopolitan population. Recently 
a group of 181 men, women, and 
children traveled 4,000 miles from 
the Far East to Laie to work for 
their kindred dead. It was the 
third such excursion for these 
Saints since 1965. 

When President Heber J. Grant 
dedicated theHawaiiTemple in' 1919, 
he prayed: 

"And now that this temple is 
completed and ordinance work will 
soon be commenced, we beseech 
thee, O Father, that thou wilt open 
the way before the members of the 
Church in these lands ... to secure 
the genealogies of their forefathers, 
so that they may come into this 
holy house and become saviors 
unto their ancestors." (The Im- 
provement Era, February 1920, p. 

The temple itself, according to 
Hawaii newspaper and magazine 
accounts, was one of the most im- 
posing and inspiring structures 


Improvement Era 

ever built in the U.S. territory. 
President Rudger Clawson ob- 
served: "The Paeific Ocean lies to 
the 1 cast, and great mountains of 
rugged grandeur form a back- 
ground to the temple looking west. 
To the south, green fields of grow- 
ing sugarcane are everywhere in 
sight, except high up on the moun- 
tain sides, where great pineapple 
fields spread out before the eye." 

The general ground plan was 
that of a Grecian cross, with the 
temple annex being at the ocean 
end. The extreme dimensions of 
the building are 102 feet by 78 
feet, making it approximately the 
same size as Solomon's Temple as 
detailed in the Old Testament. 
The temple was designed by Hyrum 
C. Pope and Harold W. Burton. 

Construction of the temple was 
supervised by Ralph E. Woolley, 
who in 1935 became the president 
of the first stake in Hawaii. Addi- 
tions to the temple annex were 
made in 1938 and 1962. Joseph F. 
Rock, a widely traveled botanist, 
assisted Avard Fairbanks in the 
landscaping of the 15-acre site, 
which is sometimes referred to as 
"the Taj Mahal of the Pacific." 

Since the dedication of the tem- 
ple, the membership of the Church 
in Hawaii has grown to about 
25,000 persons, representing Ha- 
waii's melting pot population of 
Oriental, Caucasian, and Polyne- 
sian people. Sessions are conducted 
in English, Japanese, and Samoan. 

Ironically, this polyglot popula- 
tion came into the Church despite 
the feelings of the first company 
of missionaries to Hawaii to prose- 
lyte only among the Caucasian or 
white population. Due to the efforts 
of George Q. Cannon, however, the 
gospel was carried to the island of 
Maui, where it found fertile soil, 
and by 1854 more than 4,000 Ha- 
waiians had been baptized. One 
of them was J. H. Napela, whom 
President Grant described in his 

dedicatory prayer as having been 
raised up to assist in the promulga- 
tion of the gospel. In addition to 
introducing the gospel to hundreds 
of persons, Elder Napela assisted 
President Cannon in the translation 
of the Book of Mormon into the 
Hawaiian language. 

The desire to have temple bless- 
ings was so great among- the Poly- 
nesian people that beginning in 
1889, a group that at one time 
numbered as high as 228 Hawaiians, 
Samoans, and Tahitians left Hawaii 
to establish a colony of their own 
in Utah, where they could be close 
to the heart of the Church. 

For the next 28 years the hardy 
little group endured the hardships 
of homesickness and the compara- 
tively cold climate of Utah on a 
1,280-acre ranch at Skull Valley, 
near Grantsville, in one of the most 
unusual settlements in the Ameri- 
can West. Named Isoepa (the 
Hawaiian word for Joseph) in 
honor of President Joseph F. Smith, 
the colony flourished and might 
still be in existence today had not 
the Polynesians returned to the 
Pacific islands when they received 
word that a temple would be built 
at Laie. 

The Hawaii Temple has served 
as a spiritual magnet for hundreds 
of Polynesian members of the 
Church. In 1920, a party of Sa- 
moans arrived in Hawaii and found 
working conditions so favorable 
that, after their Church mission was 
completed, many of them stayed in 
Laie to make their homes. Today, 
nearly half of the population of the 
north shore community is Samoan. 
After the missionaries were with- 
drawn from Japan in 1924, many 
of the Saints from that trouble- 
torn land also migrated to Hawaii 
to live and to do temple work. 

According to records, many 
Maoris from New Zealand came to 
do temple work in Hawaii, but 
they were fewer in number than 

the Samoans. This migration of 
Maoris has nearly ended since the 
dedication of the New Zealand 
Temple by President David O. 
McKay on April 20, 1958. The New 
Zealand Temple serves a Church 
membership of close to 50,000 in 
New Zealand, Tonga, Tahiti, Sa- 
moa, and Australia, while the 
Hawaii Temple continues to serve 
Saints of the central and northern 
Pacific, from Hawaii to Guam 
(which is part of the Honolulu 
Stake ) . The temple has also served 
as spiritual refuge for thousands of 
LDS servicemen sent to the islands 
since World War II. Speaking of 
the vital role of the temple in the 
lives of Mormons in the military 
following the attack on Pearl Har- 
bor, David W. Cummings wrote: 

"Laie became a mecca for the 
host of Mormon servicemen who 
were sent to Hawaii for training 
before going to the front. It was 
frequently thronged with other 
war visitors. Among the Mormon 
servicemen were many who were 
qualified to enter the temple, 
which necessitated a return to 
more frequent sessions and a large 
staff of workers. 

"Many servicemen bore testi- 
mony to the strength they derived 
from temple attendance, either 
during the tense period of train- 
ing, or after the ordeal of battle 
and return to Hawaii for recuper- 

There is little doubt in the hearts 
of members of the Church in Ha- 
waii that such beauty and spiritual 
refuge in the unpeaceful Pacific of 
the world today is in answer to 
President Grant's entreaty when 
he asked in the dedicatory prayer: 

"May all who come upon the 
grounds which surround this tem- 
ple, in the years to come, whether 
members of the Church of Christ 
or not, feel the sweet and peace- 
ful influence of this blessed and 
hallowed spot." (Ibid., p. 284.) O 

December 1969 







; 1 1 J : tr 

■pi ^■L» * **■* t^Ap** ^^fc AeJ 

*1 V 

Addresses given / 
by General Authorities 1 
atthe139thSemiannual V 



- ■ t 

: ; 

■ ■■■■■ ■■"■ ■ " : 


Sill, Sterling W. 


Forgiveness 38 

Restoration 52, 82, 99, 


Simpson, Robert L. 


Friendship 51 



Smith, Eldred G. 


Home evening 47, 107 

Revelation 84, 99, 



Smith, Joseph Field 



Immortality 29 

Salvation 82 

, 84 

Sonne, Alma 


Integrity 43 

Sabbath day 


Ashton, Marvin J. 


Stapley, Delbert L. 


Jesus Christ 34 



Benson, Ezra Taft 


Tanner, N. Eldon 


Joseph Smith 45 



Brockbank, Bernard P. 


Taylor, Henry D. 


Love 73, 80, 89, 107, 110 



Brown, Hugh B. 32 

!, 95 

Tuttle, A. Theodore 


Man 29 



Brown, Victor L. 


Young, S. Dilworth 


Missionaries 61, 86, 89, 97 



Burton, Theodore M. 
Cullimore, James A. 



Mortality 34, 36 
Non-Church members 52 

Student Association 



Dunn, Loren C. 


Aaronic Priesthood/ 

Ad i 


Obedience 73 



Dunn, Paul H. 



Plan of God 76 



Dyer, Alvin R. 




Plan of life 34, 36, 108 

Welfare program 


Evans, Richard L. 




Prophecy 52 



Hanks, Marion D. 




Prophets 105 

Youth 57, 62, 92, 


Hinckley, Gordon B. 





Repentance 38, 40, 43, 



Hunter, Howard W. 




57, 73 



Hunter, Milton R. 




Kimball, Spencer W. 


Church correlation 


McConkie, Bruce R. 


Death 34, 


, 82 

McKay, David 0. 



Drugs 29, 


, 57 

NOTE: Not speaking were President Thorpe B. 

Monson, Thomas S. 





Isaacson of the First Presidency; Elder Harold B. 

Packer, Boyd K. 


Eternal life 34, 78, 


Lee of the Council of the 

Twelve; Elder EIRay L. 

Petersen, Mark E. 




Christiansen, Assistant to 

the Twelve; and Presid- 

Rector, Hartman, Jr. 




ing Bishop John H. Vandenberg. Also speaking at 

Richards, Franklin D. 




the priesthood session was Alan J. Smith, a re- 

Richards, LeGrand 


Faith 32, 47, 66 


, 97 

turned missionary, whose 

talk will be- printed in 

Romney, Marion G. 




Conference Report. 

;; ... ::■ . 


;: . ::.. 


Improvement Era 

! T If 


of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 



delivered Friday morning, October 

U'^'^Ill WM ?i^M^0?r^L r ! Si!u \% - 



Man . . . the Jewel of God 




President David O. McKay 
(Read by his son Robert R. McKay) 


• My beloved brethren and sisters: 

It is a glorious but humbling experi- 
ence to have the privilege of participat- 
ing in another general conference with 
you. My gratitude and thanksgiving to 
you for your prayers and loyal support 
know no bounds. To partake of the 
spirit of faith and activity in the 
Church is inspiring. Membership there- 
in is at once a privilege and a blessing. 
Looking around us, we are convinced 
that we are living in an era of great 
progress, embracing wonderful inven- 
tions and scientific discoveries. Man's 
search for the unknown has led him 
out of the world literally into the realm 
of space. Many of the theories and 

even the imaginations of Jules Verne 
are now commonplace realities. Walk- 
ing on the moon is an achievement 
that was witnessed with great interest 
and excitement by most of the in- 
habitants of this earth. One-fourth of 
the peoples of the world, however, 
were denied that privilege by their 

The solar system and our ventures 
into space always have been of great 
interest. In June 1965, we watched 
with fascination the launching of 
Gemini 4 with Astronauts James Mc- 
Divitt and Edward White. I was espe- 
cially interested in the space walk of 
Edward White, who had personally 

visited me on July 18, 1963. At that 
time I quoted to Astronaut White the 
lines of our hymn "If You Could Hie 
to Kolob," which tells of the grandeur 
and eternity of God's creations in space. 
Major White was so interested in the 
poem that he asked for a copy of it so 
that he could read and study it when 
he reached his home. 

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 
1968, we were all again thrilled when 
Colonel Frank Borman, Major William 
A. Anders, and Captain James A. 
Lovell, Jr., who were encircling the 
moon in the Apollo 8, beamed the 
following message to the earth: "For 
all the people back on earth, the crew 

December 1969 


of Apollo 8 has a message that we 
would like to send to you." And these 
three astronauts, gazing down on the 
earth from the vastness of outer space, 
read to the world from the Bible these 
simple but majestic words regarding 
the creation of the heaven and the 
earth: "In the beginning God created 
the heaven and the earth. 

"And the earth was without form, 
and void; and darkness was upon the 
face of the deep. And the Spirit of 
God moved upon the face of the waters. 

"And God said, Let there be light: 
and there was light. 

"And God saw the light, that it was 
good: and God divided the light from 
the darkness. 

". . . and God saw that it was good." 
(Gen. 1:1-4, 10.) 

For the first time in history man 
viewed the earth from outer space, and 
he saw that it was a bright, beautiful 
earth where he was privileged to dwell 
with his brothers. Man knows that our 
solar system is merely one tiny part 
of our Milky Way galaxy, and that our 
sun is but an average star among a 
spiral of one hundred billion other 
stars of varying sizes — all are in our 
galaxy, which is only one of billions in 
the universe. 

On July 20, 1969, we witnessed on 
television one of the greatest dramas 
in the history of man — -Apollo 11 
Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Ed- 
win E. Aldrin, Jr., actually walking on 
the moon while Astronaut Michael 
Collins hovered over the moon in 
readiness to rendezvous the spaceship 
Columbia so that he could pick up his 
fellow astronauts when they had 
achieved their assignments on the lunar 

Men all over the world were hushed 
with awe, and world-renowned tele- 
vision commentators were speechless as 
they watched and tried to explain the 
activities and easy strides of the astro- 
nauts on the lunar surface. Millions 
said, "I cannot believe it!" "Fantastic!" 
"Impossible!" One commentator on 
television said, "How can young people 
withdraw from a world of this kind!" 
Others exclaimed, "This is the biggest 
day in history since man learned to 
talk!" "It is the greatest drama in the 
history of man!" Then we heard the 
first words from Astronaut Armstrong: 
"Tranquility Base here: The 'Eagle' 
has just landed." And as he stepped 
down on the moon's surface, he said: 
"That's one small step for a man, one 
giant leap for mankind," and immor- 
talized a great moment in history. 

Then as the Apollo 11 and its crew 
were returning to the good earth on 
Tuesday, July 22, 1969, Astronaut 
Aldrin beamed back the words of David 
as recorded in the Bible: "When I con- 

sider thy heavens, the work of thy 
fingers, the moon and the stars, which 
thou hast ordained; 

"What is man, that thou art mind- 
ful of him? and the son of man, that 
thou visitest him? 

"For thou hast made him a little 
lower than the angels, and hast 
crowned him with glory and honour." 
(Ps. 8:3-5.) 

Members of The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints always 
have known through revelation of the 
numberless creations of God. They 
are taught that somewhere out in that 
great expanse of space is the great star 
Kolob that we sing about in the hymn 
"If You Could Hie to Kolob." Abra- 
ham of old was shown in vision these 
kingdoms, and he said: "And I saw the 
stars, that they were very great, and 
that one of them was nearest unto 
the throne of God; and there were 
many great ones which were near unto 

"And the Lord said unto me: These 
are the governing ones; and the name 
of the great one is Kolob, because it is 
near unto me, for I am the Lord thy 
God: I have set this one to govern all 
those which belong to the same order 
as that upon which thou standest." 
(Abr. 3:2-3.) 

The following verses tell us further 
of Moses' great vision: "And . . . Moses 
cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, 
even all of it; and there was not a 
particle of it which he did not behold, 
discerning it by the spirit of God." 
(Moses 1:27.) And Moses heard the 
voice of God continuing: "And worlds 
without number have I created. . . . 

"But only an account of this earth, 
and the inhabitants thereof, give I 
unto you. For behold, there are many 
worlds that have passed away by the 
word of my power. And there are 
many that now stand, and innumer- 
able are they unto man; but all things 
are numbered unto me, for they are 
mine and I know them. . . . 

"... The heavens, they are many, 
and they cannot be numbered unto 
man; but they are numbered unto me, 
for they are mine. 

"And as one earth shall pass away, 
and the heavens thereof even so shall 
another come; and there is no end to 
my works, neither to my words." 
(Moses 1:33-38.) 

After seeing only a portion of the 
numberless creations of God, Moses 
cried out in awe and complete humil- 
ity, "Tell me . . . why these things are 
so, and by what thou madest them?" 
(Moses 1:30.) After witnessing the 
recent accomplishments by our astro- 
nauts in walking on the moon, we 
feel as Moses did and marvel at God's 
creations; and ask again, "What is 

man, that thou art mindful of him?" 

We find the answer to our question, 
as Moses did to his, when the Lord 
said, "For mine own purpose have I 
made these things. . . . And by the word 
of my power, have I created them. . . . 
For behold, this is my work and my 
glory — to bring to pass the immortality 
and eternal life of man." (Moses 
1:31-32, 39.) 

Therefore, although God has cre- 
ated the universe and all therein, "man 
is the jewel of God." This is just an- 
other way of saying that the earth was 
created for man and not man for the 
earth. God gave to man part of his 
divinity. He gave man the power of 
choice, and no other creature in the 
world has it. So he placed upon the 
individual the obligation of conduct- 
ing himself as an eternal being. You 
cannot think of any greater gift that 
could come to a man or woman than 
the freedom of choice. You alone are 
responsible, and by wielding and ex- 
ercising that freedom of choice, you 
grow in character, you grow in intelli- 
gence, you approach divinity, and 
eventually you may achieve that high 
exaltation. That is a great obligation. 
Very few people appreciate it. The 
roads are clearly marked — one offering 
animal existence, the other life abun- 
dant. Yet, God's greatest creation — 
man — often is content to grovel on the 
animal plane. 

We cannot close our eyes to the fact 
that the world is ripening in iniquity. 
The present-day turmoil and bitter 
strivings threaten to undermine the 
basic foundations of Christian rela- 
tionship. Liberty, freedom of speech, 
self-government, faith in God, and, 
particularly, faith in the efficacy of the 
restored gospel of Jesus Christ are fac- 
ing a bombardment from the ranks of 
error such as the world has seldom if 
ever witnessed. This is evident when 
we take into account the following in- 

A recent Gallup survey on American 
morals gives the following from a study 
among college students. To the ques- 
tion "Is premarital sex wrong?" 66 
percent of all students answered "No." 
Seventy-two percent of the male stu- 
dents answered that it was not wrong, 
and 55 percent of the girl students said 
it was not wrong. In private colleges, 
an unbelievable 74 percent of all 
students questioned saw no evil in this 
practice. (Church News Section, Des- 
eret News, June 21, 1969, p. 16.) 

The most vicious enemy to home life 
is immorality. Social workers are 
greatly concerned over the number of 
young girls between 14 and 19 who 
seem to have lost all sense of decency 
and shamelessly sacrifice themselves on 
the altar of lust. This corroding evil is 


Improvement Era 

just as demoralizing to the young man 
as to the young woman. Chastity, not 
indulgence, during the premarital 
years is the source of harmony and 
happiness in the home, and is the 
chief contributing factor to the health 
and perpetuity of the race. All the 
virtues that make up a beautiful char- 
acter — loyalty, dependability, confi- 
dence, trust, love of God, and fidelity 
to man — are associated with this dia- 
dem in the crown of virtuous woman- 
hood and of virile manhood. The word 
of the Lord to his church is "Keep 
yourself unspotted from the world." 
One of the Ten Commandments from 
God is "Thou shalt not commit 
adultery." (Exod. 20:14.) 

"The Gallup survey also showed that 
57 percent of all students contacted 
used drugs and liquor. It was of more 
than ordinary interest in this study to 
note that 67 percent of the college 
demonstrators use narcotics. . . ." 
(Church News Section, Deseret News, 
June 21, 1969, p. 16.) 

President Richard Nixon told Con- 
gress on Monday, July 14, 1969, that 
the drug abuse problem was "a serious 
national threat to the personal health 
and safety of millions of Americans." 
He cited an increase of almost 800 
percent in seven years in juvenile ar- 
rests involving use of drugs, and that 
New York City alone has some 40,000 
heroin addicts, with the number rising 
between 7,000 to 9,000 a year. "These 
official statistics," said the President, 
"are only the tip of an iceberg whose 
dimensions we can only surmise." 
(Deseret News, July 14, 1969, p. 1.) 

The Church urges men to have self- 
mastery to control their appetites, their 
tempers, and their speech. A man is 
not at his best when he is a slave to 
some habit. A man is not his best 
who lives merely to gratify his pas- 
sions. That is one reason why the 
Lord has given the Church the revela- 
tion of the Word of Wisdom so that, 
even from boyhood and girlhood, 
young men and young women may 
learn to control themselves. That is 
not always easy. The youth today 
face enemies — false ideologies and im- 
moral practices "glossed over" and 
"seasoned with a text." Sound prepara- 
tion is necessary to meet and conquer 
these enemies. Keep in mind that 
man's earthly existence is but a test as 
to whether he will concentrate his 
efforts, his mind, his soul upon things 
which contribute to the comfort and 
gratification of his physical nature, or 
whether he will make as his life's 
purpose the acquisition of spiritual 

The spiritual road has Christ as its 
ideal — not the gratification of the 
physical — for he that will save his life, 

yielding to that first gratification of a 
seeming need, will lose his life, lose his 
happiness, the pleasure of living at this 
present time. If he would seek the real 
purpose of life, the individual must live 
for something higher than self. He 
hears the Savior's voice saying, "I am 
the way, the truth, and the life. . . ." 
(John 14:6.) 

Following that light, man soon 
learns that there is no one great thing 
that he can do to attain happiness or 
eternal life. He learns that life is made 
up, not of great sacrifices and duties, 
but of little things, in which smiles 
and kindness and small obligations 
given habitually are what win and 
preserve the heart and secure comfort. 

Spirituality, our true aim, is the con- 
sciousness of victory over self and of 
communion with the Infinite. Spiritu- 
ality impels one to conquer difficulties 
and acquire more and more strength. 
To feel one's faculties unfolding and 
truth expanding in the soul is one of 
life's sublimest experiences. 

The man who sets his heart upon 
the things of this world, who does not 
hesitate to cheat his brother, who will 
lie for gain, who will steal from his 
neighbor, or who by slander will rob 
another of his reputation, lives on a 
low animal plane of existence and 
either stifles his spirituality or permits 
it to lie dormant. To be thus carnally 
minded is to be spiritually dead. 

We are truly living in an age of 
changing opinions, of swiftly shifting 
human relations. Man's wisdom seems 
baffled. In all our readjustments, 
plans, and policies, we cannot do better 
than keep in mind the divine admoni- 
tion that "the worth of souls is great 
in the sight of God." (D&C 18:10.) 
The saved individual is the supreme 
end of the divine will. 

Jesus sought the welfare of the indi- 
vidual, and individuals grouped and 
laboring for the general welfare of the 
whole in conformity with the principles 
of the gospel constitute the kingdom of 
God. Many of the choicest truths of 
the gospel were given in conversations 
with individuals. It was while Jesus 
talked with Nicodemus that he gave 
us the message relative to baptism and 
being born again. From the conversa- 
tion with the woman of Samaria is 
disclosed the truth that they who wor- 
ship God must worship in spirit and in 
truth. From that with Mary and 
Martha, we get the divine declaration: 
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he 
that believeth in me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live." (John 11:25.) 
Jesus' regard for personality was su- 
preme. When the Pharisees dragged 
into his presence the woman taken in 
adultery, Christ saw through the soul 
that had been stained with sin the 

personality that still contained the 
spark of hope, which he kindled into a 
light that warmed and guided a per- 
sonality back to confidence and perhaps 
to righteousness. 

To members of The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints, the worth 
of the individual has a special mean- 
ing. Quorums, auxiliaries, wards, 
stakes, even the Church itself are all 
organized to further the welfare of man. 
All are but means to an end, and that 
end is the happiness and eternal wel- 
fare of every child of God. I there- 
fore appeal to all members of the 
Church, and particularly to presidents 
of quorums and to officers of all 
auxiliaries, to put forth a unified ef- 
fort to make sweeter the lives of men. 

Supplant the thought that domi- 
nates the selfish world as expressed in 
the words "The world owes me a liv- 
ing," by the nobler prayer, "God, give 
me power to lend a helping hand to 
others." There is a sound philosophy 
in the paradoxical saying: ". . . Who- 
soever will save his life shall lose it: 
and whosoever will lose his life for 
my sake shall find it." (Matt. 16:25.) 

Keep as a guiding principle the con- 
sciousness that the ultimate purpose of 
life is the perfecting of the individual. 
This implies an intelligence directing 
creation, and to me it implies a divine 
personality, a beneficent Father. 

I love the young people, and my 
heart goes out to them. May God keep 
them true to the faith and bless them 
that they will be able to withstand 
the temptations that constantly beset 
their paths. To the youth of the Church 
I say, go to your Father in heaven in 
prayer; seek the advice of your parents, 
your bishops, and your stake presidents. 

To the members of the Church every- 
where I say, live honest, sincere lives! 
Be honest with yourselves, honest with 
your brethren, honest with your fami- 
lies, honest with those with whom you 
deal— always honest. The very founda- 
tion of all character rests upon the 
principles of honesty and sincerity. 

Be true to the Church. Be true to 
your families — loyal to them! Protect 
your children and guide them, not arbi- 
trarily, but by example. 

I bear you my witness that the teach- 
ings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 
contain the true philosophy of living. 
I make no exception. I love them. 
There are men who say that they are 
not applicable to this day, but I say 
they are as applicable today as they 
were when he spoke them; and, because 
they contain eternal truths, they will 
be applicable through all time. 

God help us to understand these 
eternal truths; and may he give us 
power to live them, I pray in the name 
of Jesus Christ. Amen. O 

December 1969 


• My dear brethren and sisters, it is a 
real honor to be included as one of 
the speakers of this great conference, 
an honor, however, that I would gladly 
exchange with anyone at this moment; 
an honor that carries with it some 
responsibilities. I should like to be in 
harmony with what has been said or 
may be said, and to that end seek di- 
vine guidance. 

I should like to briefly discuss with 
members of the Church, as well as with 
nonmembers, a subject of universal 
interest and import, a subject that is 
the moving cause of action — the power 
of faith. 

We understand that the worlds were 
framed by the word of God through 
this principle, "so that things which 
are seen were not made of things which 
do appear." (Heb. 11:3.) 

The predominating sense in which 
this subject is used throughout the 
scriptures is that of full confidence and 
trust in the being, purposes, and words 
of God. Such trust, if implicit, will 
remove all doubt concerning the things 
accomplished or promised of God, 
even though such things be not ap- 
parent to or explicable by the ordinary 

Some think religious people are im- 
practical and live in the clouds of un- 
justified hope. The notion that science 
is all fact and religion all faith is fic- 
tion. Science, as well as religion, is 
based upon faith, for faith is ever "the 
evidence of things not seen." 

We do not teach the principle of 
faith merely for what it will do for 
one in the next world. We believe that 
there is real practical value in mental 
concepts which increase one's self- 
respect and effectiveness here and now. 
To believe that there is an all-wise 
Father in charge of the universe and 
that we are related to him, that we are 
in fact children of God with the "hall- 

mark" of divinity upon us, is to live in 
a different world from. those who be- 
lieve that man is a mere animal con- 
cerned only with requirements for 
creature existence, which must end at 
death. Because of low aim, the lives 
of such people lack trajectory and vi- 
sion and fall short of their spiritual 

If you convince a young man to think 
of life, here and hereafter, as being of 
one piece, continuing through from 
premortal to postmortal without any 
break in the endless chain, if he can 
realize that each of the various stages 
of his development helps to condition 
him for the next, if you convince him 
that he can take nothing but himself 
into the next world — his intelligence, 
his experience, his character — if this 
conviction becomes really dynamic 
faith, it will have definite and lasting 
effect on the quality of his life, .both 
here and hereafter. 

Eternal life means more than merely 
continuing to exist. Its qualitative 
value will be determined by what we 
believe and do while in mortality and 
by our conformity to eternal law in the 
life to come. Eternal existence would 
be most undesirable if that existence 
became fixed and static upon arrival 
there. "It is hope and expectation and 
desire and something ever more about 
to be" that gives lilt and verve to 
mortal life. We cannot imagine nor 
would we desire an eternity without 
opportunity for growth and develop- 
ment. We believe in eternal progres- 

Faith in God and in the ultimate 
triumph of right contributes to mental 
and spiritual poise in the face of diffi- 
culties. It is a sustaining power when 
a confining or antagonistic environment 
challenges one's courage. 

And so we recommend faith as a 
present, living power for good here and 

now as well as for what it will do for 
us in achieving salvation hereafter. 

If one has a vivid sense of his own 
divinity, he will not easily be per- 
suaded to deprave his mind, debauch 
his body, or sell his freedom for 
temporary gain. Goethe is right when 
he makes Mephistopheles, his devil, 
say, "I am the spirit of negation." 
Negation always bedevils life. 

Wherever in life great spiritual 
values await man's appropriation, only 
faith can appropriate them. Man can- 
not live without faith, because in life's 
adventure the central problem is char- 
acter-building — which is not a product 
of logic, but of faith in ideals and 
sacrificial devotion to them. The 
writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews 
saw the intimate relationship between 
the quality of faith and the quality of 
life and called upon his readers to 
judge the Christian life by its conse- 
quences in character. 

We cannot avoid looking ahead and 
to some degree basing our activities 
upon things we cannot see. But bit by 
bit we gain assurance. We have some 
knowledge of what is and of what has 
been. But it is necessary that we have 
faith in what is yet to come. 

In this universal venture of life, its 
full meaning can be understood only 
by the application of faith, wherein 
the best treasures of the spirit are ob- 
tainable only through courageous open- 
heartedness and the kind of character 
which is possible to all men of deep 

Every discussion of faith must dis- 
tinguish it from its caricatures. Faith 
is not credulity. It is not believing 
things you know aren't so. It is not a 
formula to get the universe to do your 
bidding. It is not a set of beliefs to be 
swallowed in one gulp. Faith is not 
knowledge; it is mixed with uncertainty 
or it would not be faith. Faith does 


Improvement Era 

not dwindle as wisdom grows. 

Above all, faith is to be contrasted 
with pessimism and cynicism. Those 
who say they have become disillusioned 
with life are lost without faith. Faith 
is confidence in the worthwhileness of 
life. It is assurance and trust. Per- 
haps the greatest contrast to faith is 
fear. Jesus often said to his followers, 
"Be not afraid." 

The stern, appealing love of God be- 
hind life, his good purposes through it, 
his victory ahead of it, and man, a fel- 
low worker, called into an unfinished 
world to bear a hand with God in its 
completion — here is a game to chal- 
lenge all stouthearted men. 

To believe that we do not stand 
alone, that we are fellow laborers with 
God, our human purposes compre- 
hended in his purpose— God behind us, 
within us, ahead of us: this is the solid 
rock upon which all rational religion 

Man tears his spiritual heritage to 
shreds in licentiousness and drink. He 
wallows in vice, wins by cruelty, vio- 
lates love, is treacherous to trust. His 
sins clothe the world in lamentation. 
Yet within him is a trust that he can- 
not stifle. He is the only creature we 
know of whose nature is divided 
against himself. Man hates his sin 
even while he commits it. He repents, 
tries again, falls, rises, stumbles on — 
and in all his best hours man cries out 
for help. 

No message short of religion has 
ever met man's need in this estate. 
Faith that God himself is pledged to the 
victory of righteousness in men in the 
world, that he cares, forgives, enters 
into man's struggle with transforming 
power, and crowns the long endeavor 
with triumphant character — such faith 
alone has been great enough to meet 
the needs of men. 

When faith in God goes, man loses 
his securest refuge and must suffer. 
Strong men, broken in health, or men 
who have lost the fortunes of a life- 
time, families with long illness, moth- 
ers who have wept at children's 
graves — these and other staggering 
blows test the faith of good and bad 
alike. Nothing but religious faith has 
been able to save men from despair. 
As Jesus said, the rains descend, and 
the floods come, and the winds, 
whether man's house be built on rock 
or sand. It is faith that makes the 

And here I should like to introduce 
a story coming out of the first world 
war. I had a companion, a fellow of- 
ficer, who was a very rich man, highly 
educated. He was a lawyer, had great 
power, was self-sufficient, and he said 
to me as we often talked of religion 
(because he knew who I was), "There 

is nothing in life that I would like to 
have that I cannot buy with my 

Shortly thereafter he and I with two 
other officers were assigned to go to the 
city of Arras, France, which was under 
siege. It had been evacuated, and upon 
arrival there we thought there was no 
one in the city. We noted that the 
fire of the enemy was concentrated on 
the cathedral. We made our way to 
that cathedral and went in. There 
we found a little woman kneeling at an 
altar. We paused, respecting her de- 
votion. Then shortly she arose, wrapped 
her little shawl around her frail 
shoulders, and came tottering down 
the aisle. The man among us who 
could speak better French said, "Are 
you in trouble?" 

She straightened her shoulders, pulled 
in her chin, and said, "No, I'm not in 
trouble. I was in trouble when I came 
here, but I've left it there at the altar." 

"And what was your trouble?" 

She said, "I received word this morn- 
ing that my fifth son has given his life 
for France. Their father went first, 
and then one by one all of them have 
gone. But," straightening again, "I 
have no trouble; I've left it there be- 
cause I believe in the immortality of 
the soul. I believe that men will live 
after death. I know that I shall meet 
my loved ones again." 

When the little soul went out, there 
were tears in the eyes of the men who 
were there, and the one who had said 
to me that he could purchase anything 
with money turned to me and said, 
"You and I have seen men in battle 
display courage and valor that is ad- 
mirable, but in all my life I have 
never seen anything to compare with 
the faith, the fortitude, and the courage 
of that little woman." 

Then he said, "I would give all the 
money I have if I could have something 
of what she has." 

I tell that story for two reasons. One 
is that today many parents are getting 
word that their sons have been lost. 
We ourselves went through that ex- 
perience. I tell it for the reason that I 
hope every parent who has a son in 
danger in Vietnam will have faith 
in the hereafter, faith in God, faith in 
themselves, faith in the immortality of 
the soul. I tell it secondly because my 
own beloved companion, and you will 
excuse this personal reference, is lying 
after long illness listening to this 
service. I greet her, for she had exactly 
that kind of courage and faith when 
our son was taken from us. 

God help us to arise to a point where 
we can retain faith in the future, what- 
ever it may hold. We need most of 
all, when suffering, to remember there 
is an explanation, though we may not 

know exactly what it is. 

Religious faith gives confidence that 
human tragedy is not a meaningless 
sport of physical forces. Life is not 
what Voltaire called it, "a bad joke"; it 
is really a school of discipline whose 
author and teacher is God. 

Faith is a road to truth, without 
which some truths can never be reached 
at all. The reason for its inevitable- 
ness in life is not our lack of knowledge, 
but rather that faith is as indispensable 
as logical demonstration in any real 
knowing in the world. Faith is not a 
substitute for truth, but a pathway to 

However undecided men may appear, 
they cannot altogether avoid decision 
on the main matter of religion. Life 
will not let them. For a while the 
mind may hold itself suspended be- 
tween alternatives. The adventure of 
life goes on, and men inevitably tend 
to live either as though the Christian 
God were real or as though he were not. 
This, then, is the summary of the mat- 
ter. Life is a great adventure in which 
faith is indispensable. In this adven- 
ture, faith in God presents the issues 
of transcendent import. And on these 
issues life itself continually compels 

My brethren and sisters, my friends, 
humbly I bear witness to you that there 
is a God in heaven and that he knows 

"Faith is. ..but a 

pathway to truth" 

that we are his. He knows who and 
where we are, and he stands ready to 
help us at any time. 

God help us that we may live in such 
a manner that he can help us. May we 
have the faith to endure to the end, 
as we are told that only they who 
endure to the end can be saved. I 
leave with you this testimony and my 
blessing on this occasion, that what- 
ever the vicissitudes of life may be, you 
may have the faith, the fortitude, and 
the courage to meet them triumphantly, 
I humbly pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. O 

December 1969 


• Last month we mourned the passing 
of our heloved friend, colleague, and 
brother, John Longden, who had spent 
many years of his life in the service of 
his Maker and his fellowmen. He con- 
tributed greatly to the community, the 
Church, and industry. He was a good 
friend and neighbor. At his funeral 
we heard one of his favorite songs, 
which he had sung so well and so 
often : 

"I know that my Redeemer lives; 
What comfort this sweet sentence 

gives! . . . 
He lives, he lives, who once was dead. 
He lives, my ever-living head. . . . 
O sweet the joy this sentence gives: 
'I know that my Redeemer lives!' " 

— Hymns, No. 95 

The passing of loved ones has always 
caused us to stop and ponder such 
questions as: 

"Who am I?" 

"Where did I come from?" 

"Why am I here?" 

"When I die will I live again?" 

"Where am I going?" 

"How can I best prepare myself?" 

I am sure that thousands and thou- 
sands have said, "If I knew the answers 
to these questions, I would know better 
how to govern my life." It is impossible 
for any of us, including philosophers, 
astrologers, astronomers, and scientists 
in any field, with our finite minds, to 
answer these questions pertaining to 
the infinite without referring to the 
word of God as contained in the 

We mortals have never experienced 
death and the resurrection, nor do we 
remember our preexistence. Therefore, 
it is not commonly believed or under- 
stood that we had a premortal exis- 
tence, that we are the spirit children 
of God, the Eternal Father, and that 
when we have finished our life here 

upon the earth we will enjoy a literal 
resurrection and may continue on in 
eternal progression. In fact, many 
who question this say that if someone 
would return from the dead as a wit- 
ness of these things, they would believe. 
This is not so. 

Let us remember the parable of the 
rich man who prayed that Lazarus be 
sent from the dead to his father's house 
to testify to his brethren, saying that if 
one went to them from the dead, they 
would repent. Abraham said unto 
him: "If they hear not Moses and the 
prophets, neither will they be per- 
suaded, though one rose from the dead." 
(Luke 16:31.) 

How fortunate we are that the Lord 
God, from the time of Adam, down 
through the ages to the present time, 
has given us the answers to these very 
important questions, and we have 
them recorded in Holy Writ. Yes, God 
has seen fit to talk to his people 
through his chosen prophets, and those 
who have heard and believed and fol- 
lowed have been hlessed. 

It is sad but true that many, many 
people are not acquainted with the 
words of the prophets, and many re- 
fuse to believe, and others often scoff 
and ridicule the teachings of the Savior. 
It is extremely sad that many, through 
their own learning and their sensuous 
knowledge, become self-satisfied and 
think that they are sufficient unto 
themselves and need not heed the word 
of God; and often, because they have 
not heard, seen, touched, or talked to 
God, they deny even his very existence, 
and use their influence to dissuade 

But all of this ignorance, derision, 
scoffing, and ridicule does not destroy 
the truth, which finally will triumph. 
We must learn to live by faith and 
believe in the words of the Lord, espe- 
cially in those things which we mortals 
do not and cannot fully comprehend. 

Probably the greatest evidence of the 
fact that God speaks to his prophets 
is the fulfillment of the prophecies 
made by them. Many of these prophe- 
cies and their fulfillment are a matter 
of historical and scriptural record. 

As I was pondering the questions to 
which I have referred, and their an- 
swers, and in turning to the scriptures I 
read again this significant and most 
important statement: 

"And this is life eternal, that they 
might know thee the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast 
sent." (John 17:3.) 

Many ask: "How can a man know 
God and Jesus Christ, whom he has 
sent?" The answer must be clear that 
it is through prayer and faith and study 
of the words of God as given through 
his prophets and by Jesus Christ, whom 
he has sent. Let us refer to some 
revelations received and prophecies 
made by both ancient and modern 
prophets that tell us about God and 
our relationship to him, and that will 
help us to know and understand the 
purpose of our mission here on earth. 

Probably the very earliest scriptural 
account we have of man and his rela- 
tionship to God, and which shows be- 
yond doubt that we had a premortal 
existence in the spirit world with God, 
is the record of the council in heaven 
as revealed to Moses and Abraham. 

"Now the Lord had shown unto me, 
Abraham, the intelligences that were 
organized before the world was; . . . 

"And God . . . stood in the midst of 
them, and he said: These I will make 
my rulers; for he stood among those 
that were spirits, . . . and he said unto 
me: Abraham, thou art one of them; 
thou wast chosen before thou wast 

"And there stood one among them 
that was like unto God, and he said 
unto those who were with him: We 
will go down, for there is space there, 


Improvement Era 

and we will take of these materials, 
and we will make an earth whereon 
these may dwell; 

"And we will prove them herewith, 
to see if they will do all things what- 
soever the Lord their God shall com- 
mand them; 

"And they who keep their first estate 
shall be added upon; and they who 
keep not their first estate shall not have 
glory in the same kingdom with those 
who keep their first estate; and they 
who keep their second estate shall 
have glory added upon their heads for 
ever and ever." (Abr. 3:22-26.) 

And the Lord told Moses: 

"And I, God, said unto mine Only 
Begotten, which was with me from the 
beginning: Let us make man in our 
image, after our likeness; and it was 
so. . . . 

"And I, God, created man in mine 
own image, in the image of mine Only 
Begotten created I him; male and fe- 
male created I them." (Moses 2:26-27.) 

God told Moses that Christ was 
chosen as the Savior of the world and 
that Satan rebelled, and God said: 

"Wherefore, because that Satan re- 
belled against me, and sought to de- 
stroy the agency of man, which I, the 
Lord God, had given him, and also, 
that I should give unto him mine own 
power; ... I caused that he should be 
cast down; 

"And he became Satan, yea, even 
the devil, the father of all lies, to de- 
ceive and to blind men, and to lead 
them captive at his will, even as many 
as would not hearken unto my voice." 
(See Moses 4:1-4.) 

We, as spirit children of God, were 
all present at that council and voted 
to sustain Jesus Christ as the Savior of 
the world. In Paul's Epistle to the 
Hebrews, in Ecclesiastes, in Jeremiah, 
and in many other accounts in both 
the Old and the New Testaments, and 
in modern scripture, we have further 
evidence that we are the spirit children 
of God and dwelt with him in the 
spirit world. 

There is also further indisputable 
evidence that Jesus was with God be- 
fore he came here. Just before his 
crucifixion, he went into Gethsemane, 
and in his agony he prayed unto the 
Father in these words: 

"Father, the hour is come; . . . 

"I have glorified thee on the earth: 
I have finished the work which thou 
gavest me to do. 

"And now, O Father, glorify thou 
me with thine own self with the glory 
which I had with thee before the world 
was." (John 17:1, 4-5.) 

How comforting and encouraging it 
is for us to know that "God so loved 
the world, that he gave his only be- 
gotten Son, that whosoever believeth 

in him should not perish, but have 
everlasting life." (John 3:16.) 

The coming of the Savior was fore- 
told to Adam right after he and Eve 
were driven out of the Garden of 
Eden. They were told by the Lord to 
offer sacrifice, and they were obedient. 
After many days an angel of the Lord 
appeared unto Adam and explained: 

"This thing is a similitude of the 
sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the 
Father, which is full of grace and 

"Wherefore, thou shalt do all that 
thou doest in the name of the Son, 
and thou shalt repent and call upon 
God in the name of the Son forever- 
more." (Moses 5:7-8.) 

Then we have the writings of many 
Old Testament prophets, including 
Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah, and Malachi, 
as well as Nephi and other American 
prophets, as recorded in the Book of 
Mormon, who foretold of the birth, 
teachings, persecution, crucifixion, and 
resurrection of the Savior. We all know 
that these prophecies have been ful- 

It is most reassuring to know that 
the prophets in different climes and in 
different dispensations were in com- 
plete harmony, and that their prophe- 
cies have been fulfilled to the letter. 
And always they gave us this assur- 
ance, as did Nephi, that "all those who 
shall believe on his name shall be 
saved in the kingdom of God." (See 
2 Ne. 25:13.) 

Though we should need no further 
evidence of the Savior's divinity and of 
the importance of his mission as it 
pertains to us, let us recall the strong 
and stirring testimony of Paul, who 
was a great persecutor of the saints. 
He records that as he was going to 
Damascus to bring saints unto Jeru- 
salem to be punished, "suddenly there 
shone from heaven a great light round 
about me. And I fell unto the ground, 
and heard a voice saying unto me, 
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" 

When he asked who was speaking, 
the voice said, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, 
whom thou persecutest." 

Then Saul said: "What shall I do, 
Lord? And the Lord said unto me, 
Arise and go into Damascus; and there 
it shall be told thee of all things 
which are appointed for thee to do." 
(Acts 22:6-10.) 

You will remember that he was 
blinded by the glory of the light, so 
he had to be led to Damascus and to 
Ananias, who said, "Brother Saul, re- 
ceive thy sight," and he could see. 
From that time Saul, who was also 
called Paul, became one of the most 
valiant and strong of the Christian 
preachers and defenders. Then we 
find him falsely accused and forced to 

defend himself before the governor 
and other officials, and finally before 
King Agrippa. Think of his boldness 
and courage as he stood in chains be- 
fore the king and recounted the story 
of his conversion, after which he said: 

"Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was 
not disobedient unto the heavenly vi- 

"But shewed first unto them of 
Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and 
throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and 
then to the Gentiles, that they should 
repent and turn to God, and do works 
meet for repentance. 

"For these causes the Jews caught me 
in the temple, and went about to kill 


"Having therefore obtained help of 
God, I continue unto this day, witness- 
ing both to small and great, saying 
none other things than those which the 
prophets and Moses did say should 

"That Christ should suffer, and that 
he should be the first that should rise 
from the dead, and should shew light 
unto the people, and to the Gentiles. 

"And as he thus spake for himself, 
Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, 
thou art beside thyself; much learning 
doth make thee mad. 

"But he said, I am not mad, most 
noble Festus; but speak forth the words 
of truth and soberness. 

"For the king knoweth of these 
things, before whom also I speak freely: 
for I am persuaded that none of these 
things are hidden from him; for this 
thing was not done in a corner. 

"King Agrippa, believest thou the 
prophets? I know that thou believest. 

"Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Al- 
most thou persuadest me to be a 

"And Paul said, I would to God, 
that not only thou, but also all that 
hear me this day, were both almost, 
and altogether such as I am, except 
these bonds." (Acts 26:19-29.) 

The strength of his deep conviction 
had been previously manifest when 
he said to his friends who were trying to 
protect him and persuade him not to go 
to Jerusalem: "What mean ye to 
weep and to break mine heart? for I am 
ready not to be bound only, but also 
to die at Jerusalem for the name of the 
Lord Jesus." (Acts 21:13.) 

I would that we, as Paul, could all 
feel and show our deep love and de- 
votion to Jesus Christ, who, because 
of his great love for us, was prepared 
to suffer and give his life to redeem 
us from the grave. All through the 
scriptures we have the words of the 
prophets, bearing witness that Jesus 
Christ is the Son of God and that 
he came and gave his life for us. He 
also gave us the Ten Commandments, 

December 1969 


the Sermon on the Mount, and the 
whole plan of life and salvation — the 
hlucprint of life — which if lived will 
not only bring joy to us here on earth 
but will prepare us for immortality and 
eternal life, where we can dwell with 
God the Father and his Son Jesus 
Christ and our loved ones who have 
gone there before us. 

Our Heavenly Father, knowing our 
weaknesses and our need for constant 
direction, sends us prophets to con- 
tinually teach us and keep us reminded 
of this plan of life and salvation. Just 
yesterday we sustained David O. Mc- 
Kay as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, 
and President of The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our salva- 
tion and that of our loved ones depends 
on our listening to and heeding the 
words of the prophets, realizing that 
we must believe all that God has 
revealed, all that he does now reveal, 
and that he will yet reveal many great 
and important things pertaining to 
the kingdom of God. 

To those who question these things, 
I should like to emphasize this one 
fact: Everything that was taught by 
the prophets and by Jesus Christ him- 
self, as recorded in Holy Writ, is for 
the benefit of mankind, and if accepted 
and lived will make for better indi- 
viduals, better communities, a better 
world where we can live in love and 
peace with one another. 

Man by his own formula has failed 
to accomplish these things. He has no 
effective plan, and any failure is not 
because the gospel has failed, but 
because man has failed to live its 
teachings. To those who doubt or 
question, but have no answers, and 
who look for hope out of the midst 
of their despair, I urge that they accept 
the word of God the Eternal Father and 

believe in the gospel, which is up- 
lifting and beautiful and will bring 
peace and contentment to their souls. 
How much better to hope than despair, 
and the words of hope and everlasting 
life with the Father and the Son are 
to be found in the gospel of Jesus 

He summed it all up and gave a 
simple formula when he answered the 
lawyer who asked, tempting him: 

"Master, which is the great com- 
mandment in the law? 

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, and with 
all thy mind. 

"This is the first and great com- 

"And the second is like unto it, 
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 

"On these two commandments hang 
all the law and the prophets." (Matt. 

The Lord also said that if we love 
him, we will keep his commandments. 
These are the teachings of all the 
apostles and prophets. Let us heed 
the words of Peter as he was speaking 
to and answered the multitude: 

"Now when they heard this, they 
were pricked in their heart, and said 
unto Peter and to the rest of the 
apostles, Men and brethren, what shall 
we do? 

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, 
and be baptized every one of you in the 
name of Jesus Christ for the remission 
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of 
the Holy Ghost. 

"For the promise is unto you, and 
to your children, and to all that are 
afar off, even as many as the Lord our 
God shall call." (Acts 2:37-39.) 

It is important to understand that 

we are here to prove ourselves, to pre- 
pare ourselves to go back into the 
presence of our Heavenly Father, and 
the choices we make will determine 
our future happiness. Hear the words 
of the American prophet Lehi to his 
sons, which message has been given 
repeatedly to the children of men 
through the ages: 

"Wherefore, men are free according 
to the flesh; and all things are given 
them which are expedient unto man. 
And they are free to choose liberty and 
eternal life, through the great media- 
tion of all men, or to choose captivity 
and death, according to the captivity 
and power of the devil; for he seeketh 
that all men might be miserable like 
unto himself. 

"And now, my sons, I would that ye 
should look to the great Mediator, and 
hearken unto his great commandments; 
and be faithful unto his words, and 
choose eternal life, according to the 
will of his Holy Spirit; 

"And not choose eternal death, ac- 
cording to the will of the flesh and 
the evil which is therein, which giveth 
the spirit of the devil power to capti- 
vate, to bring you down to hell, that 
he may reign over you in his own 
kingdom." (2 Ne. 2:27-29.) 

Jacob, Lehi's son, taught: "Therefore, 
cheer up your hearts, and remember 
that ye are free to act for yourselves — 
to choose the way of everlasting death 
or the way of eternal life." (2 Ne. 

To summarize, we read from Ecclesi- 
astes: "Let us hear the conclusion of 
the whole matter: Fear God, and keep 
his commandments: for this is the 
whole duty of man." (Eccles. 12:13.) I 
bear testimony that these things are 
true, in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. O 

Address delivered Sunday morning, 
October 5, 1969 

t ose 
of Mortal Man's Existence 

President Joseph Fielding Smith 
Of the First Presidency and President of the Council of the Twelve 

• Dear brethren and sisters: I have 
been asked to speak this morning, and 
I have chosen for my subject "The 
Purpose of Mortal Man's Existence." 

I hope and pray that the Lord will 
bless me that I may give you good 
people the things that are essential 
in the world today. 

The object of our being here is to 
do the will of the Father as it is done 
in heaven, to work righteousness in 
the earth, to subdue wickedness and 


Improvement Era 

put it under our feet, to conquer sin 
and the adversary of our souls, to rise 
above the imperfections and weaknesses 
of poor fallen humanity, by the in- 
spiration of the Lord and his power 
made manifest, and thus become the 
saints and servants of the Lord in the 

We are dealing with our faith and 
conscience; you are dealing not with 
me, not with the Presidency of the 
Church, but with the Lord. I am not 
dealing with men respecting my tith- 
ing — my dealings are with the Lord; 
that is, with reference to my own 
conduct in the Church and with refer- 
ence to my observance of the other laws 
and rules of the Church. If I fail 
to observe the laws of the Church, I 
am responsible to the Lord and will 
have to answer to him, by and by, for 
my neglect of duty, and I may have to 
answer to the Church for my fellow- 
ship. If I do my duty, according to my 
understanding of the requirements that 
the Lord has made of me, then I ought 
to have a conscience void of offense. 
I ought to have satisfaction in my soul 
that I have simply done my duty as I 
understand it, and I will accept the 
consequences. With me, it is a matter 
between me and the Lord; so it is with 
every one of us. 

He who sent his Only Begotten Son 
into the world, to accomplish the mis- 
sion that he did, also sent every soul 
within the sound of my voice, and in- 
deed every man and woman in the 
world, to accomplish a mission, and 
that mission cannot be accomplished 
by neglect, nor by indifference, nor 
can it be accomplished by ignorance. 

We should learn the obligation that 
we are under to the Lord and to each 
other; these things are essential, and we 
cannot prosper in spiritual things, we 
cannot grow in knowledge of the Lord 
or in wisdom, without devoting our 
thoughts and our efforts toward our 
own betterment, toward the increase 
of our own wisdom and knowledge in 
the things of the Lord. 

It is therefore proper, and indeed it 
becomes the duty of those who are 
placed upon the towers as watchmen 
in Zion, to exhort the people to dili- 
gence, to prayerfulness, to humility, to 
a love of the truth that has been re- 
vealed to them, and to earnest devotion 
to the work of the Lord, which is in- 
tended for their individual salvation; 
not that I can save any man, nor that 
any man can save any other man or fit 
him for exaltation in the kingdom of 
God. This is not given to me to do 
for others, nor is it given to any man 
to be a savior in this sense or in this 
way to his fellowmen. But men can 
set an example. Men can proclaim 
the truth to others and can point out 

the way to them in which to walk. 
Men can only be saved and exalted in 
the kingdom of God in righteousness; 
therefore, we must repent of our sins 
and walk in the light as Christ is in 
the light, that his blood may cleanse 
us from all sins and that we may have 
fellowship with the Lord and receive 
of his glory and exaltation. 

Though the Lord should try me by 
withholding his blessings from me, that 
should make no difference to me. The 
point is, what is the law of the Lord? 
And if I know that law, it is my duty 
to obey it, though I suffer death in 
consequence. Many a man has gone 
to the stake in obedience, as he be- 
lieved, to the commandments of the 
Lord. Not one of the ancient disciples 
who were chosen by Jesus Christ 
escaped martyrdom, except Judas and 
John. Judas betrayed the Lord and 
sacrificed his own life, and John re- 
ceived the promise of the Lord that he 
should live until He came again to the 
earth. All the others were put to death 
— some crucified, some dragged in the 
streets of Rome, some thrown from 
pinnacles, and some stoned to death. 
For what? For obeying the law of the 
Lord and bearing testimony to that 
which they knew to be true. 

The Lord will honor those who honor 
him, and will remember those who 
remember him. He will uphold and 
sustain all those who sustain truth and 
are faithful to it. The Lord help us, 
therefore, to be faithful to the truth, 
now and forever. 

We hope and pray that you will go 
from this conference to your homes 
feeling in your hearts and from the 
depths of your souls to forgive one an- 
other, and never from this time forth 
to bear malice toward another fellow 
creature. We ought to say in our 
hearts, let the Lord judge between me 
and thee, but as for me, I will forgive. 
Go home and dismiss envy and hatred 
from your hearts; dismiss the feeling 
of unforgiveness; and cultivate in your 
souls that spirit of Christ that cried out 
upon the cross, "Father, forgive them; 
for they know not what they do." 
(Luke 23:34.) This is the spirit that 
the Latter-day Saints ought to possess 
all the day long. It is a good thing to 
be at peace with the Lord. 

I will say now to all of the Latter-day 
Saints, let us live our religion. Let us do 
all in our power to plant in the hearts 
of the people the glorious truth that 
Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the 
world, and that Joseph Smith is a 
prophet of the living God, whom the 
Lord raised up in these last days to 
restore the everlasting gospel and 
power of the Holy Priesthood. We 
should set an example; we should be 
true to the faith; we should be true to 

our covenants, true to the Lord, and 
true to one another. I can tell you that 
the man who is not true to the inter- 
ests of the people will be the man who 
will be found, by and by, left out and 
in a pitiable spiritual condition. The 
man who stays with the kingdom of 
God, who is true to this people, who 
keeps himself pure and unspotted from 
the world is the man that the Lord will 
accept, uphold, and sustain. 

I believe it is good to seek knowledge 
out of the best books, to be able to 
comprehend the purpose of the Lord 
with reference to the nations of the 
earth; and I believe that one of the 
most important things, and perhaps 
more important to us than studying the 
history of the world, is studying the 
principles of the gospel, that they may 
be established in our hearts and souls 
above all other things, to qualify us 
to go out into the world to preach and 
teach the people the first principles 
of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I would like to say right here that it 
delights my heart to see our people 
everywhere improving their talents as 
good singers. Everywhere we go among 
our people we find sweet voices and 
talent for music. I believe that this 
is a manifestation to us of the purpose 
of the Lord in this direction toward 
our people, that they will excel in 
these things, as they should excel 
in every other good thing. I can remem- 
ber, when I was a young boy, hearing 
my father sing. I do not know how 
much of a singer he was, for at that 
time I was not capable of judging as to 
the quality of his singing, but the 
hymns he sang became familiar to me 
in the days of my childhood. 

When we listen to this choir, we 
listen to music, and music is truth. 
Good music is gracious praise of the 
Lord. It is delightsome to the ear, and 
it ,is one of our most acceptable methods 
of worshiping. And those who sing in 
the choir and in all the choirs of the 
Saints should sing with the Spirit and 
with understanding. They should not 
sing merely because it is a profession, 
or because they have a good voice; but 
they should sing also because they have 
the spirit of it, and can enter into the 
spirit of prayer and praise the Lord who 
gave them their sweet voices. My soul 
is always lifted up, and my spirit 
cheered and comforted, when I hear 
good music. I rejoice in it very much 

Then let the Saints unite; let them 
hearken to the voices of the servants 
of the Lord that are sounded in their 
ears; let them seek their own salva- 
tion, for, so far as I am concerned, I 
am so selfish that I am seeking after 
my salvation, and I know that I can 
find it only in obedience to the laws of 

December 1969 


the Lord in keeping the command- 
ments, in performing works of righ- 
teousness, following in the footsteps of 
our file leader, Jesus, the exemplar and 
the head of all. He is the way of life; he 
is the light of the world; he is the door 
hy which we must enter in order that 
we may have a place with him in the 
celestial kingdom. 

How much happier we are in the 
presence of a grateful and loving soul, 
and how careful we should he to culti- 
vate, through the medium of a prayerful 
life, a thankful attitude. I believe that 
one of the greatest sins of which the 
inhabitants of the earth are guilty to- 
day is the sin of ingratitude, the want 
of acknowledgment, on their part, of 

the Lord and his right to govern and 

We see a man with extraordinary- 
gifts, or with great intelligence, and he 
is instrumental in developing some 
great principle. He and the world 
ascribe his great genius and wisdom to 
himself. He attributes his success to 
his own energies, labor, and mental 
capacity; He does not acknowledge the 
hand of the Lord in anything con- 
nected with his success, but ignores him 
altogether and takes the honor to him- 
self. This will apply to almost all the 
world. In all the great modern dis- 
coveries in science, in the arts, in 
mechanics, and in all the material ad- 
vancement of the age, the world says, 

"We have done it." The individual 
says, "I have done it," and he gives no 
honor or credit to the Lord. 

Now, I read in the revelations 
through Joseph Smith, the Prophet, 
that because of this, the Lord is not 
pleased with the inhabitants of the 
earth; he is angry with them because 
they will not acknowledge his hand in 
all things. 

Brethren and sisters, let us not forget 
to be grateful to our Father in heaven 
and thank him for all his kindness to 
us and the watch-care he has over us; 
and may he bless us with every righ- 
teous desire of our hearts, I humbly 
pray, in the name of our Redeemer. 
Amen. O 

• My dear brothers and sisters and 
friends, both here and those of the 
television and radio audience, I call 
your particular attention this day to the 
divine direction given to Joseph Smith, 
the latter-day prophet, who gave utter- 
ance to this direction concerning the 
ills of the people of the world. Plans 
and programs are being offered here 
and there as a means of correcting 
dangerous behavioral trends that are 
creating changes in our way of living, 
that are threatening moral and spiritual 

The statements are often heard, 
"Where will it all end?" and "Why 
isn't something being done to check 
these dangerous trends?" 

The panacea to all this, as declared 
by the Prophet Joseph Smith, must 
go right to the heart of the individual; 
mass control in the final analysis can- 
not succeed without individual control. 

Commandments were given to Joseph 
Smith by revelation which, if obeyed, 
could divert and frustrate the dangerous 
trends of behavior among the people 
this very day. The first of these to 
which I refer concerns the principle of 

virtue. Here are the words of the 
Lord : 

". . . let virtue garnish thy thoughts 
unceasingly; then shall thy confidence 
wax strong in the presence of God; 
and the doctrine of the priesthood shall 
distil upon thy soul as the dews from 

"The Holy Ghost shall be thy con- 
stant companion, and thy scepter . . . 
of righteousness and truth; and thy 
dominion . . . , and without compul- 
sory means it shall flow unto thee 
forever and ever." (D&C 121:45-46.) 

Think of what the effects of having 
a virtuous mind would have upon the 
spreading of immorality, with all of 
its carnal aspects. 

Reference is made to a second harm- 
ful thing, that of harmful indulgence, 
concerning which the Lord has warned 
us against with this commandment: 
"Strong drinks . . . and tobacco are not 
for the body." (See D&C 89:7-8.) 

No one today needs to be mis- 
informed of the ravaging and deathly 
effects that the use of tobacco, alcohol, 
and other narcotics have upon the 
human body, as well as the indirect 

effects on the spiritual and moral char- 
acter of the individual, which often are 
more detrimental even than the physi- 
cal effects. 

And again, the Lord has spoken of 
the need of understanding the princi- 
ples of freedom and agency in human 
relationships, for, said he: 

"... when we [seek] ... to exercise 
control or dominion or compulsion 
upon the souls of the children of men, 
in any degree of unrighteousness, be- 
hold, the heavens withdraw themselves; 
the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and 
when it is withdrawn, Amen to the 
priesthood or the authority of that 
man." (D&C 121:37.) 

And amen to the influence of the 
Holy Ghost, which will lead us into 
truth. But when we undertake to exer- 
cise by cunning means any leverage 
against people to compel them, we 
lose the growth and uplifting of cor- 
rect communication and relationship 
with other human beings. 

Added to these timely divine warn- 
ings to mankind given by the Prophet 
Joseph Smith is the principle of re- 
pentance, to which I shall direct the 


Improvement Era 

remainder of my remarks. 

The importance of this divine princi- 
ple is readily seen by the emphasis 
that the Lord has given to it in all of 
his dealings with man. It was estab- 
lished in the beginning and has con- 
tinued down through the centuries of 
time, either to enlighten and uplift 
the individual by obedience thereto or 
to bring about a condition of decay and 
demoralization by disobedience. 

Adam and Eve, cut off from the 
presence of God, were given instruction 
concerning the necessity of repentance 
as a means to regain their place in 
God's presence, there to continue in the 
way of light and intelligence to 
the attainment of ultimate perfection. 
Adam, seeking earnestly to know the 
will of God, asked this question of the 
Lord: "Why is it that men must repent 
and be baptized in water?" (Moses 

The Lord's answer was clear and 
distinct, for unto Adam and Eve, upon 
whom darkness had come, having 
fallen from God, came this vital in- 
struction of the need of repentance: 
"Wherefore teach it unto your children, 
that all men, everywhere, must repent, 
or they can in nowise inherit the king- 
dom of God " (Moses 6:57.) 

Centuries later, when all living 
beings upon the earth were threatened 
with destruction, when corruption filled 
the earth, caused by a lack of re- 
pentance, the prophet Noah labored 
valiantly in crying repentance unto the 
people, but to no avail. All living upon 
the earth, except Noah and his family, 
were destroyed by a flood of waters. For 
verification of this, the Old Testament 
account of the great flood, though writ- 
ten by Hebrew or "Shemitic" historians, 
is substantiated by the historical writ- 
ings of many other nations and 
peoples. (See Gaued, Legends of Patri- 
archs and Prophets, pp. 118-35.) 

In the meridian dispensation, John 
the Baptist, the forerunner and herald 
of the Christ, preached on the out- 
skirts of the province of Judea, saying, 
"Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven 
is at hand. . . . Bring forth therefore 
fruits meet for repentance." (Matt. 
3:2, 8.) 

The Lord himself referred to the 
principle of repentance upon many 
occasions with such declarations, for 
"Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the 
gospel of the kingdom of God, 

"And saying, The time is fulfilled, 
and the kingdom of God is at hand: 
repent ye, and believe the gospel." 
(Mark 1:14-15.) 

Jesus, in sending his apostles out, 
told them to teach men everywhere to 

"And said unto them, Thus it is 
written, and thus it behoved Christ to 

suffer, and to rise from the dead the 
third day: 

"And that repentance and remission 
of sins should be preached in his name 
among all nations, beginning at Jeru- 
salem." (Luke 24:46-47.) 

The need of adherence to the princi- 
ple of repentance has been reiterated 
many, many times in the history of 
mankind, and when man has earnestly 
and sincerely sought the will of God, 
he has responded to this principle of 
personal salvation. 

It has been revealed with ever- 
expanded meaning in our modern 
period of time through the prophets of 
God. It constitutes a law, the knowl- 
edge and application of which is 
perhaps the most important single 
principle of redemption. Repentance is 
as the Lord proclaimed it to be — "of 
the greatest worth to the individual." 

As early as 1829, in the present dis- 
pensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, 
as the marvelous work of restoration 
began to unfold, the principle of re- 
pentance was stressed again and again, 
even to the extent of being the most 
important of all things to transpire 
among the people, not only to safeguard 
them individually from the evils and 
deceptions of our day and time, but 
also to prepare them for the part they 
will take in the things to happen in 
the destiny of God's work associated 
with mortal existence. 

Here is an excerpt from a revelation 
given to the Prophet Joseph for his 
brother Hyrum, who sought earnestly 
to know the will of God concerning 
what he was to do to assist in bringing 
forth the great latter-day work; it indi- 
cates how strongly this principle is in 
the mind of the Lord, for, said he: 

"Say nothing but repentance unto 
this generation. Keep my command- 
ments, and assist to bring forth my 
work, according to my commandments, 
and you shall be blessed." (D&C 11:9.) 

The following admonition was given 
to David Whitmer and Oliver Cow- 
dery, even as it had been given to the 
apostle Paul of old, and it likewise is 
a divine instruction unto all who would 
seek to further God's work in saving 
his people, as summarized in this state- 

"Remember the worth of souls is 
great in the sight of God; 

"For, behold, the Lord your Re- 
deemer suffered death in the flesh; 
wherefore he suffered the pain of all 
men, that all men might repent and 
come unto him. 

"And he hath risen again from the 
dead, that he might bring all men unto 
him, on conditions of repentance. 

"And how great is his joy in the soul 
that repenteth! 

"Wherefore, you are called to cry 

repentance unto this people. 

"And if it so be that you should labor 
all your days in crying repentance unto 
this people, and bring, save it be one 
soul unto me, how great shall be your 
joy with him in the kingdom of my 

"And now, if your joy will be great 
with one soul that you have brought 
unto me into the kingdom of my 
Father, how great will be your joy if 
you should bring many souls unto 
me!" (D&C 18:10-16. Italics added.) 

Repentance is a principle of eternal 
growth for the individual and is, there- 
fore, a basic principle of our Christian 
faith, as declared in the fourth Article 
of Faith. 

If a man has a desire in his heart 
to know the truth, the normal and 
positive reaction, as his faith expands, 
causes him to know that he has partici- 
pated in volitional acts that are wrong 
and therefore sinful. In this respect, 
all are in need of repentance, which 
leads us to the covenant of baptism. 
Only Jesus of Nazareth, the Only Be- 
gotten Son of God, of all men upon 
the earth, is sinless. He kept every 
law, yielded personally to every prin- 
ciple of righteousness, and thus was 
unblemished in mortal experience. 

It can be a crucial misfortune to any 
man who fails to recognize the differ- 
ence between right and wrong. But 
when he does recognize this difference 
and brings his own life into harmony 
with that knowledge through repen- 
tance, he attains conviction and power 
in many ways. For example, repentance 
is inseparably associated with forgive- 
ness; and when forgiveness, as a per- 
sonal possession working two ways, 
flows through the thought and action 
of man, he experiences a feeling of 
great joy, a release of tension and frus- 
tration caused by the committing of 
sin. Thus, there is produced personal 
security and assurance. Here is power 
that prepares for further life corrections. 

Repentance, as an eternal law, is not 
confined to conversion. Its use and 
application is broader than that. It is 
a principle of eternal progression. After 
faith, repentance, and baptism, which 
are first principles, repentance leads 
the way to many regenerations, with- 
out which the soul shall never reach 

Those who deal with the souls of 
men are repeatedly recognizing the 
wisdom of the divine counsel that has 
been given concerning repentance. 
Marriage counselors, judges, scientists 
of the mind are stressing more and 
more the need of repentance for the 
correction of every evil in life, whether 
it be large or small, based upon a 
recognition and confession of that 
wrong and fortified with a deliberate, 

December 1969 


stubborn forsaking of it to reform one's 
character and in so doing gain freedom 
from emotional stress, ever associated 
with sin and wrong doing. 

The principal element of forsaking 
is seen in the human desire to make 
restitution for wrongs that are admitted, 
to change one's life to that of the better 

It is probably true that sin is never 
forgotten when once committed. But 
the laws governing repentance provide 
a release of emotional stress caused by 
the sin, when that sin is acknowledged 
and forsaken. Through repentance and 
forsaking will come the peace of mind, 
a form of regeneration, that enables 
one to go on in life in pursuit of true 
happiness. This fits, it seems to me, 
the ennobling challenge of the Christ 
to become like unto him. 

I recall the comment from this stand 
of Stephen L Richards, who said, in 
essence: "Men may wonder why they 
are retarded in the Church and in life. 

Such should be invited to look into 
their lives, and if they are frank and 
honest with themselves, they will find 
the answer." 

As sin is looked upon, we are led to 
conclude that not until man is hum- 
bled, not until the heart throbs with 
genuine sorrow for repeated violations 
of God's holy laws, not until the citadel 
of sin is surrendered, can man hope for 
forgiveness or expect exaltation. 

Repentance is something between 
each one of us and our God, something 
that produces the power, through the 
processes of change, that causes truth 
and right, a power for good, to spring 
from within us. 

Thus, the exercise of repentance is a 
factor in the challenges we face today. 
Obedience to this divine principle, to- 
gether with an obedience to the other 
commandments of God, which I have 
referred to, concerning harmful indul- 
gences, the virtuous heart and mind, 
and the practice of exercising righteous 

dominion under all circumstances in 
behavioral associations, can provide a 
panacea for our present dilemma of 
frustration and misdirection that con- 
fronts us as individuals and as a people. 
As the Lord has declared, our obedience 
to these commandments will enable us 
to avoid the calamities which are upon 

Generally speaking, there is nothing 
wrong with an individual that faith 
and repentance will not cure. For that 
matter, there is nothing wrong with 
America or the world that faith and 
repentance will not correct, for as the 
Lord has said, ". . . the thing which 
will be of the most worth unto you will 
be to declare repentance unto this 
people. . . ." (D&C 15:6.) 

I pray that the Lord will help us to 
understand that the thing that shall 
be of the greatest worth to us is re- 

I testify of this in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. Q 

• My dear brethren and sisters: I feel 
great spiritual strength in the presence 
of these wonderful patriarchs who at- 
tend our conference here this morning. 
We love you, we appreciate you, and 
we feel confidence in your wonderful 

These few thoughts that I share with 
you this morning are directed primarily 
to a large group of men who are per- 
haps beyond the range of my voice. 
Nevertheless, I speak to them with all 
the sincerity and fervor of my soul, 
hoping that somehow perhaps a few 
may be reached. 

As we visit the stake conferences 
each week, few experiences are more 
satisfying than that little nudge on the 
arm from the stake president as he 
points out some good brother just tak- 
ing his place on the third row, and 
then he whispers a few choice com- 

ments about some recent changes in 
that man's life. Sometimes it is about 
response to a faithful and patient home 
teacher; frequently, about the faith 
and prayers of a patient wife being an- 
swered in a glorious way. Too often 
the change has come about following 
adversity. Some are adversities that 
might have been avoided, but most im- 
portant of all, he is back. He is on 
course again. He is feeling the joy of 
service to others, perhaps to some other 
wonderful men who need the same 
kind of helping hand that was extended 
toward him at that right moment. 
There are far too many who trod the 
futile path that leads to nowhere. 

An air traffic control tower recently 
established radio contact with a plane 
that was streaking across the radar 
scope, obviously not on proper course. 
The pilot was asked to report his situa- 

tion. The controller's voice seemed 
urgent. The pilot responded to the 
tower with this classic observation: 
"We are making wonderful time, but 
we are hopelessly lost." 

I wonder how many men there might 
be in the world who are making won- 
derful time but without direction. Of 
what value is speed if the direction is 
without purpose? Someone has written: 
"A destination is a fine thing to have. 
If a man does not know to what port 
he is steering, no wind is favorable to 
him; and if he doesn't know where he 
is now, he cannot very well set a 
course. How hard be rows, or how 
good his engine is: these do not count 
in his favor unless he has a good defi- 
nition of his objective. Hard work is 
often robbed of its reward by poor 

I was touched by the story of one 


Improvement Era 


egardless of how you want to accumulate 
funds of approximately $2,400.00 for a 
mission, First Security Bank can assist you. 

Three types of savings plans are available, 
together with variations or combinations to fit your 
individual needs. These include: 

5% per annum Short-Term Savings Certificate 

with interest credited to a Passbook account 
every 90 days. 

5% per annum Long-Term Savings Certificate 

with 5% interest guaranteed over a 5-year 
period even if present interest rates should 
go down. This plan yields 5.60% when 
interest is accumulated over 5 years. 

Passbook Savings, a special mission account. 
Any amount may be deposited at any time. 

Many families use a combination of plans. 


You may be interested in the specific plan 
designed by Mr. and Mrs. A. In the early summer 
of 1968 they decided that they wanted to 
accumulate a fund so that 5 years hence $100.00 
a month could be sent to their son all the 
time he would be on a mission. 

They had $624.96 in cash at that time, so they 
put it in our 5% per annum 5-Year Savings 
Certificate. Interest is guaranteed. So the 
$624.96 will earn $175.04 interest in 5 years. 
By 1973 it will have grown to $800.00. 

To accumulate $1,800.00 more, Mr. A. decided 
to save $30.00 a month for 5 years. He instructed 
us to automatically transfer that amount each 
month from his checking account and put it in a 
Special Mission Passbook Savings Account. 

Mr. A. also told us to buy a 5% Short-Term 
Savings Certificate each time $500.00 has been 


Savings plans to finance 
Missions for Sons, Daughters, 
Grandsons, Grandaughters 

accumulated in the Passbook account. Also to 
have all the interest paid quarterly on the 90-day 
Savings Certificates credited to the 
Passbook account. 

"The way I've figured it," said Mr. A., "I'll have 
saved $2,424.96. If my son should go on a 
mission, he'll receive $100.00 a month 
— and the account will still have $579.11 in it, 
perhaps for a post-mission trip." 

Amount saved $2,424.96 

Interest paid by Bank 554.15 

Amount paid Missionary $2,979.11 


Depositing $500.00 once a year each year for 
5 years will create a fund that will return to your 
missionary $100.00 a month for 24 months. 
And the 24th month's check would be for 
$778.80 - not just $100.00. 

Amount saved .$2,500.00 

Interest paid by Bank 578.80 

Amount paid Missionary $3,078.80 


Each family's requirements vary, but we at 
First Security Bank have the "know-how" to tailor 
a plan so that you would receive maximum 

We hope you will come in and discuss your 
specific problem — whether your savings plan be 
long or merely for a short period of time. 

Federal regulations stipulate the maximum interest which may 
be paid by national banks. Examples shown are based 
on presenf maximum permissible rates. 


First Security Bank of Utah, National Association. First Security State Bank. 

First Security Bank of Idaho, National Association. 
First Security Bank of Rock Springs, Wyoming. 
Members hederal Deposit Insurance Corporation 

December 1969 




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highly successful business executive 
who recently responded graciously and 
humbly to a call to serve in his elders 
quorum presidency. Upon being asked 
the direct question: "What brought 
you back?" he responded, "Well, I 
have never told anyone before, but this 
is what happened: 

"One morning while shaving, I over- 
heard my six-year-old son singing from 
the next room. He was singing a little 
song I had heard him sing dozens of 
times before, 'I Am a Child of God'; 
but somehow that morning when he 
came to the part that says, 'Lead me, 
guide me, walk beside me, Help me 
find the way,' I had the feeling that 
he was singing directly to me. I just 
stood there and listened. Within sec- 
onds, my whole life seemed to pass in 
review; and it really came home with 
full force that some changes had to 
be made, especially when he came to 
the part, 'Teach me all that I must do, 
To live with him some day.' " 

This good man confesses today that 
these simple words from the lips of 
his own child reached his heart as a 
personal plea. The plea was from a 
child of God who had been placed in 
his custody to be delivered back some 
day into Heavenly Father's presence. 
He concluded his answer to this ques- 
tion by stating that he decided then and 
there that he had something important 
to do, something more important than 
anything else in the world for a little 
fellow who still loved his daddy in 
spite of many personal failings. 

While on the subject of church songs, 
let me tell you briefly about a man 
who was attending a patio party one 
Sunday afternoon at the home of a bus- 
iness associate who happened to live 
next door to an LDS meetinghouse. As 
the sacrament meeting got underway, 
the strains of the organ could be clear- 
ly heard over the back fence and 
seemed to be somewhat incongruous to 
the tinkle of ice being placed in the 
cocktail glasses. There were some un- 
complimentary jokes and the usual 
snide remarks about religious fanatics, 
when all of a sudden the strains of the 
opening song broke the warm summer 
afternoon air. It was "Come, Come 
Ye Saints." The party tempo was 
warming up, and by now, the church 
music was all but unnoticed — un- 
noticed by all but one, a man whose 
grandmother had walked across the 
plains pulling a handcart. His mind 
withdrew from the party. For the first 
time in many years, he spent some 
minutes in sincere reflection concern- 
ing his birthright. 

About ten minutes later, the sacra- 
ment song came drifting across the 
back fence. Unknowingly, a chorister, 
inspired in her calling, I am sure, had 

Improvement Era 

selected, "I Know That My Redeemer 
Lives." And way down deep, he knew 
it, too, but it had been a long, long 
time. From that moment on, he was 
attending a patio party in body, but 
mentally and spiritually he was far 
above and beyond his environment of 
the moment. 

It was almost an hour later, just 
about the time that he had lapsed back 
into the party mood, when the closing 
song, "We Thank Thee, O God, For 
a Prophet," reached his ear and mel- 
lowed his heart to the point of submis- 
sion. Isn't it odd that a man should 
start his way back while attending a 
cocktail party? "The Lord moves in a 
mysterious way, His wonders to per- 
form." Incidentally, that man is prob- 
ably here in this meeting today, a fine 
leader in the church, doing what the 
Lord would have him do. 

The road back has been described 
by some as long and tedious and hard, 
but this is only as you stand at the 
starting end of that road. Those who 
have made the journey find that after 
the first difficult step, the road is sweet 
and pleasant to travel; the end re- 
wards are beyond description. 

God bless the home teacher who goes 
the extra mile, who confirms his love 
for the families he teaches with genu- 
ine interest and follow-up. May I 
tell you about a pair of home teachers 
who felt impressed to discuss some 
recently published findings on lung 
cancer with a brother who had been 
plagued with the cigarette habit all of 

his adult life. As the home teachers 
said good-night, the brother expressed 
appreciation for their message and con- 
cluded with, "I will try to quit again, 
starting right now. I hope I can make 
it this time." 

These home teachers could have 
been like most of us and waited until 
next month's visit to see if he suc- 
ceeded, but they did not. They came 
by the very next morning at 6:45 a.m., 
unannounced and unexpected. They ex- 
pressed keen interest in their visit the 
night before and especially in his ex- 
pressed desire to stop smoking. They 
went on to tell this brother' that they 
had decided to fast and pray for him 
that day. "We will be thinking about 
you all day today, and not only that, 
we will meet you here at your bus stop 
tonight to see how you made out." 

This man could not help but suc- 
ceed. "These two wonderful home 
teachers are going to be fasting and 
praying for me. They are going to be 
thinking about me all day. Tonight 
they are going to meet me at the bus 
stop." He wanted to have a right 
answer for them. He did. With help, 
he succeeded. He came back. 

Just within the past few weeks a 73- 
year-old man took that glorious road 
back after 50 long years of indifference. 
There were many tears on that occa- 
sion, tears of joy — yes, his and espe- 
cially those of a loving companion who 
had waited those 50 long years for this 
most glorious moment. The tenderness 
of that occasion was mute evidence to 

the sanctification of that moment by a 
kind and loving Heavenly Father who 
stands always prepared to say, "Wel- 
come back, my son." 

Oh, that thousands might put aside 
their stubborn pride! Oh, that thou- 
sands might find the courage for that 
first giant step back! Oh, that thou- 
sands of fine upstanding men with 
great potential might place themselves 
in the hands of the Lord, for as he has 
said: ". . . my yoke is easy, and my 
burden is light." We testify to you that 
it is! Oh, that thousands might give 
way to their real, deep-down inner feel- 
ings, for as President }. Reuben Clark, 
Jr., has said: ". . . God has placed in 
every man's heart a divine spark, which 
never wholly goes out; it may grow 
dim, it may become hidden, almost 
smothered by the ashes of transgression; 
but the spark still lives and glows and 
can be fanned into flame by faith, if 
the heart is touched." 

Those of you who sit reluctantly in 
the wings, find your patriarchal bless- 
ing, dust it off, and read it again; 
contemplate deeply the Lord's personal 
message given to you alone by these 
wonderful men who are attending this 
conference, the patriarchs of the Lord. 
There is yet time. It's never too late to 
pick up the pieces. 

I feel confident that one of the Lord's 
favorite greetings is "Welcome back, 
my son." May we find the way back 
where we belong is my humble prayer 
in the name of Jesus Christ, the Re- 
deemer of the world. Amen. O 

• I knew an athlete some years ago 
who had tremendous talent. He had 
almost perfect physical coordination. In 
fact, he was so good he would not 
train, yet his talents still exceeded the 
talents and abilities of those around 

It was demoralizing sometimes for 

those who had to follow every training 
rule in order to bring themselves to a 
peak of physical performance, only to 
have him exceed them because of his 
natural abilities. 

But I happened to be at the stadium 
one afternoon a few years later when 
this athlete, who had progressed rather 

rapidly in a very promising sports 
career, had what some might call his 
moment of truth. He was playing with 
people who had talents as great as he 
did, and as the pace of the game picked 
up, the pressures began to mount. 

He reached inside himself for that 
great second effort that he always had, 

December 1969 


but it became obvious that this time 
he could not marshal all that he 
needed. That afternoon marked the 
beginning of a gradual decline, which 
finally found him retiring from the 
game years before he should have re- 
tired. His original decision to dis- 
regard the rules of preparation had, in 
the end, cost him many years of per- 

Many times we see people around us 
who violate the patterns of living and 
the rules that we have been taught to 
live by, and they seem to do it without 
any ill effects. On the surface it would 
seem that it may not make any differ- 
ence whether we live these rules or 
not, because those who violate them 
appear to suffer no consequences. In 
all ages, it seems, there have been chal- 
lenges to those who believe in virtue, 
honesty, and high moral standards — 
challenges to those who accept these 
standards as God-given and that they 
ultimately will carry their own reward. 

"We are always in the forge, or on 
the anvil," said Beecher; "by trials God 
is shaping us for higher things." 

These challenges come from many 
different directions. For instance, 
there are those who expound the so- 
called new morality and say that it 
matters not if a person participates in 
free love, nor does the marriage con- 
tract mean that husband and wife 
should be faithful to each other. But 
those who believe this are wrong, and 
time, which is running out on them if 
they don't change, will prove them 

"There are some things which never 
grow old-fashioned," says President 
McKay. "The sweetness of a baby is 
one. The virtue and chastity of man- 
hood is another. Youth is the time to 

'Repentance - - possibly 
the greatest principle 
in the gospel" 

lay the foundation for our homes. I 
know there are those who tell you that 
suppression is wrong," he continues, 
"but I assure you that self-mastery, not 
indulgence, is the virtue that con- 
tributes to the virility of manhood and 
to the beauty of womanhood." (Man 
May Know for Himself, p. 250.) 
There are also those who sanction 

the use of drugs, using such reasoning 
as the fact that the use of marijuana is 
so widespread that it should be ac- 
cepted and even condoned, for, they 
say, it creates no more problems than 
does alcohol. Those who use this 
reasoning fail to point out, however, 
that alcohol disables over six and one- 
half million people each year and that 
one-half of the fatal traffic accidents 
in the United States alone are related 
to excessive drinking. To recommend 
the use of marijuana by linking it to 
alcohol is like approving of a hepatitis 
epidemic on the basis that it probably 
won't be any more damaging than 

There has been sharp divergence of 
opinion in the United States over the 
use of marijuana, so much so that it 
prompted the organization of a presi- 
dential task force to try to ferret out 
the facts. This task force has recently 
made its initial report, which states, 
according to an international news- 
paper, that the widespread use of mari- 
juana represents a significant mental 
health problem. Depending on the 
dose, it may have substantial detri- 
mental effects on both the mental and 
the physical well-being of the user. 

Because of these perils, it continues, 
every effort should be made by the 
federal government to curb the im- 
port and distribution of marijuana 
as well as of strong drugs. (Christian 
Science Monitor, September 15, 1969.) 

To you who are challenged by 
others because you believe in the law 
of chastity, because you believe that 
drugs are not the answer, because you 
believe in such God-given axioms as 
"Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt 
not lie," or because you have a simple 
and basic faith in God the Father and 
in his Son Jesus Christ and in your own 
eternal worth, just remember that time 
is on your side. Be patient, and the 
same people who challenge you, if 
they do not change, will ultimately 
prove to you, by their lives, that they 
don't have the answers — either for you 
or for themselves. 

This is not to say that it will be easy. 
Sometimes the desire to be accepted 
by an individual or a group causes a 
person to do things that he really 
doesn't want to do; but if you can 
maintain your integrity, you'll come to 
understand what Lehi meant when he 
taught that men are that they might 
have joy — not fleeting pleasure but 
real joy. 

Beware also of the temptation to 
violate the laws of God with the 
thought in mind that one can always 
repent but not really anticipate any 
remorse as a result of the wrongdoing. 
Repentance is a great principle, prob- 
ably the greatest in the gospel of Jesus 

Christ; and thank heaven the Lord 
holds the opportunity of repentance out 
to all. 

Yet perhaps it would do no damage 
to occasionally dwell on the awful 
nature of sin rather than relying con- 
tinually on the redeeming qualities of 
repentance. We have a three-year-old 
daughter whom we love very dearly. 
Not long ago I was doing some studying 
at my desk at home, and she was in 
the room playing with a glass of water 
that was on the desk. As she picked up 
that large glass with her little fingers, 
I repeatedly warned her that she must 
be careful or she would drop the glass, 
which, of course, she finally did. It 
shattered as it hit the floor, and splin- 
ters went in every direction. 

Showing the patience of a wise 
parent, I immediately spanked her, ex- 
plaining to her that the spanking was 
the consequence of her insisting on not 
listening to me by picking up the glass 
until it dropped and was broken. She 
shed some tears and gave me a hug, 
which she usually does when she knows 
she is in trouble, and the event was 
quickly forgotten. 

Since she often plays in her bare 
feet, I took her out of the room and 
made every effort to sweep up all the 
glass particles. But the thought came 
to me that perhaps I hadn't gotten all 
the splinters of glass, and at some fu- 
ture time when she is playing in that 
room, those little feet might find the 
splinters which went undetected, and 
she would have to suffer anew for that 
which she did. 

For a young person to violate the 
law of chastity or some other com- 
mandment and then to later put his 
or her life in order, such action, I am 
sure, will mean the forgiveness of an 
understanding and loving God. Yet as 
that person progresses in life and 
reaches a point where he or she enters 
into a marriage contract and as they 
have children of their own, it just 
might be that a splinter of a previous 
wrongdoing somewhere on the floor of 
his or her life might prick the con- 

This is not to say that the Lord 
hasn't forgiven them, but as they be- 
gin to understand the full meaning, 
the full significance of that which they 
once did, they may find it unfortu- 
nately difficult to forgive themselves. 
And perhaps this is ultimately the 
hardest part of repentance, being able 
to forgive one's self in light of the 
seriousness of the trangression. Cer- 
tainly in this, as in all other things, 
we need the help of the Lord. 

Alma told the truth when he taught 
his son, Corianton, that "wickedness 
never was happiness." (Al. 41:10.) 

It is my testimony that the teachings 


Improvement Era 

of the Church of Jesus Christ are for 
the purpose of saving all mankind 
from the remorse of wrongdoing; that 
time is on the side of those who hold 
to these principles and is working 
against those who do otherwise. 

May the Lord help us to appreciate 
the eternal nature of the laws which 
he has given us and their purpose, 
which is to bring joy, happiness, and 
peace of mind to man. And to this 
may I add my witness of the truthful- 

ness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I 
know that God lives and that Jesus 
Christ is his Son. I know this. I know 
that this is the Church of Jesus Christ 
and that it is led by revelation, in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. O 

• My brethren and sisters: The Latter- 
day Saints are a chosen people. Their 
mission is to teach the restored gospel 
to the world. They feel that responsi- 
bility keenly. Their missionary en- 
deavor is evidence of their sincerity 
and determination to make known 

They realize that the souls of men 
are precious in the sight of God. They 
know their relationship to God, and 
they are rightfully called the children 
of God. He is their Father and is vitally 
concerned about their welfare. He will 
hear and answer their prayers. He 
will come to their rescue in times of 
need and he will sustain them when 
they put their trust in him. 

The Latter-day Saints believe in the 
prophets, each one of whom has left a 
vital message to the world. Joseph 
Smith, called the founder of Mormon- 
ism, is the prophet of the last dispen- 
sation. Like Moses, the lawgiver of 
Israel, he spoke with God face to face 
and received from him revelations con- 
cerning man's destiny and his possi- 
bilities. He taught that God is a 
person, and that he rules in the affairs 
of men and nations, and that he is the 
Father of his children who live and 
have lived upon the earth. 

Our country was founded in a re- 
ligious atmosphere. The original colo- 
nists who came to America laid their 
foundations in that background. They 
came with deep religious convictions. 
They built churches and schools and 
worshiped God in their own way. Their 
quest was religious freedom, and al- 
though unknown to them, they pre- 
pared the way for the restoration of 
the gospel of Jesus Christ, which, 
according to James, is the perfect law 
of liberty. 

I have found in most people a deep 
religious sentiment. Many of them go 
to church to satisfy their religious 
longings. The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints is building 
churches and chapels at a rapid rate. 
Most of them are crowded with wor- 
shipers on Sunday, where the gospel is 
being taught and righteous living en- 

Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was the 
man selected to open a new dispensa- 
tion of the gospel. He announced to 
the world a restoration of divine truth. 
There are many incidents in his life 
supported by eyewitnesses who testify 
of his prophetic calling. These eye- 
witnesses responded to his greatness 
and his leadership in a way to prove 
their loyalty. Strong men like Brigham 
Young, John Taylor, and Wilford 
Woodruff followed him with a devo- 
tion seldom seen in human affairs. 
They were men who were not easily 
deceived or led astray. 

Men of reknown saw in the Prophet 
a force to be reckoned with on the 
pages of history. 

A knowledge of Mormonism is neces- 
sary to understand this prophet of the 
latter days. He cannot be ignored by 
the conscientious investigator; neither 
can he be disposed of by the old- 
fashioned methods of ridicule and 
abuse. His name is secure in the his- 
tory books already written. Speaking 
of himself, he said: "You don't know 
me; you never knew my heart. No man 
knows my history." (Documentary His- 
tory of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 317.) 

Who, for instance, knows Jesus 
Christ? No one except those who un- 
derstand his gospel of salvation. Joseph 
Smith came to prepare the world for 
the reign of Christ. The Church 

teaches the second coming of the 
Savior, at which time he will appear 
in glory and splendor. 

The Prophet did not write his auto- 
biography, but the history of the early 
days of the Church is well preserved. 
The Prophet, wise and farseeing, kept 
records. "For the last three years," he 
said on one occasion, "I have a record 
of all my acts and proceedings, for I 
have kept several good, faithful, and 
efficient clerks in constant employ; 
they have accompanied me everywhere, 
and carefully kept my history, and they 
have written down what I have done, 
where I have been, and what I have 
said; . . . and my enemies cannot prove 
anything against me." (DHC, Vol. 6, 
p. 409.) The Prophet believed he was 
a man of destiny, that this work was an 
important event in history, and that it 
should be preserved for future genera- 
tions. He had been told by an angel 
that his "name should be had for 
good and evil among all nations." 
(Joseph Smith 2:33.) That prophecy 
has been fulfilled. 

We are grateful today for the frag- 
mentary history of the early Christian 
church, for the records from which the 
four gospels were assembled, and for 
the teachings and testimonies of its 
early leaders. They have been a source 
of inspiration and guidance to the 
generations that followed. Without 
those precious records, darkness would 
have prevailed. The Church has kept 
and is keeping a faithful record and a 
reliable history of its growth, its de- 
velopment, and its expansion since it 
was organized on the sixth day of April 
1830; and it will move forward in the 
future as it has in the past. I so testify 
sincerely, in the name of Jesus Christ 
the Lord. Amen. O 

December 1969 


Remember the Sabbath 

Sterling W. Sill 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 

• If we were looking for some pro- 
gram to cure all of the problems that 
presently beset our world, we might 
well find it by properly observing the 
Sabbath day. The importance of the 
Sabbath is prefigured in the account 
of creation. In programming the seven 
creative periods, God set aside the 
seventh day as his Sabbath. And then 
in our interests he especially blessed 
and hallowed this one day out of each 
week, which he ordained to be our 
Sabbath day. And what a magnifi- 
cent day it is when it is used as he 

It is probable that our civilization 
would never have survived for half a 
century if it had not been for this one 
day in seven that we call Sunday. This 
is the day when we put on our best 
clothes and think our best thoughts 
and read our best books. This is the 
day when we associate with the people 
that we like the most. This is the day 
for which we usually reserve the best 
meal of the week. This is the day 
when we lay aside the cares that 
usually concern us during the other six 
days and go to the house of prayer and 
let our minds reach upward and try to 
understand the real purpose for which 
this day was set apart. 

Some people have performed miracles 
of accomplishment when over a period 
of a few years they have set apart 
even 15 minutes a day for regular study 
and special self-improvement. And we 
can bring eternal exaltation upon our- 
selves by using the Sabbath day as the 
Creator intended. Some 3,460 years 
ago God came down onto the top of 
Mount Sinai in fire, and to the accom- 
paniment of lightning and thunder 
said, "Remember the sabbath day, to 
keep it holy." (Exod. 20:8.) 

Then in the meridian of time, the 
Son of God established his church 
upon the earth with the expectation 
that we should belong to it. Just 
suppose that we should each make up a 

thoughtful list of those things that we 
could do to really make this a holy 
day. The church of which we should 
be an important part was given the 
responsibility for proclaiming the prin- 
ciples of eternal truth, and within the 
framework of the Church we are sup- 
posed to individually sponsor those 
laws on which the blessings of mankind 
are predicated. William James has said, 
"That which holds our attention, deter- 
mines our action." And if we don't 
pay attention, we lose the blessing. 

The Sabbath day gives us a time to 
study the scriptures and to think about 
life's eternal purposes. "The mind is 
made up by what it feeds upon." And 
the Sabbath day is a time for spiritual 
feasting, mental stimulation, righteous 
activities, ennobling worship, and 
pleasant Christian fellowship. An- 
ciently the followers of Christ assem- 
bled themselves together on the first 
day of the week to hear the gospel 
discussed, partake of the emblems of 
his atonement, and renew their cove- 
nants of faithfulness. And in our own 
day the Lord has said, "And that thou 
mayest more fully keep thyself un- 
spotted from the world, thou shalt go 
to the house of prayer and offer up thy 
sacraments upon my holy day; 

"For verily this is a day appointed 
unto you to rest from your labors, and 
to pay thy devotions unto the Most 
High." (D&C 59:9-10.) 

That is one of our greatest commands 
of opportunity. And we bring all sorts 
of serious problems upon ourselves 
when we use this day for pleasure, 
worldliness, and evil. We sometimes 
make the Sabbath our least important 
day by putting on our most unsightly 
clothes and doing our most ordinary 
jobs. As a consequence of what we do, 
many of our churches remain empty 
and the holy scriptures remain on the 
shelf unopened. When we lose the 
Sabbath day spirit, we are likely to 
build bars in our homes instead of 

altars. And sometimes we can get more 
interested in horse races and baseball 
games than in the celestial kingdom. 

Someone has said that the mind like 
the dyer's hand is colored by what it 
holds. If I hold in my hand a sponge 
full of purple dye, my hand becomes 
purple. And if I hold in my mind and 
heart great ideas of faith and ambi- 
tions of righteousness, my whole person 
is colored accordingly. The apostle 
Paul saw our day and indicated that 
we were holding in our minds many of 
the wrong kind of ideas. He said, ". . . 
in the last days perilous times shall 

"For men shall be lovers of their 
own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, 
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, 
unthankful, unholy, 

"Without natural affection, truce- 
breakers, false accusers, incontinent, 
fierce, despisers of those that are good, 

"Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers 
of pleasures more than lovers of God; 

"Having a form of godliness, but 
denying the power thereof. . . ." (2 
Tim. 3:1-5.) 

And he indicated the change that we 
should make when he said, ". . . be ye 
transformed by the renewing of your 
mind." (See Rom. 12:2.) Our whole 
lives can be transformed by having a 
holy experience on the Sabbath day. 

The other day while walking down 
the street I met a good friend of mine. 
We shook hands and engaged in a 
little pleasant small talk. We laughed, 
visited, joked, and had a pleasant few 
minutes together. Then as I went on 
my way I thought how much better I 
felt than I had previously done. But 
one of the best ways to feel the faith 
and enjoy the friendliness of our fel- 
low human beings is in church. In 
church the talk is very important, and 
we can shake hands, feel the Spirit of 
God, and be uplifted by each other 
as we listen, pray, and sing together 
out of the depths of worshiping hearts. 


Improvement Era 

The Lord is pleased when we honor 
him and bring this benefit upon our- 
selves by keeping the Sabbath day 
holy. He has said, "For my soul de- 
lighteth in the song of the heart; yea, 
the song of the righteous is a prayer 
unto me, and it shall be answered with 
a blessing upon their heads." (D&C 

It is also in the house of the Lord 
that we partake of the sacrament and 
renew our personal covenants to serve 

On that memorable last evening 
of the Lord's life, the scripture recalls 
that "he took bread, and gave thanks, 
and brake it, and gave unto them, say- 
ing, This is my body which is given for 
you: this do in remembrance of me. 
Likewise also the cup after supper, 
saying, This cup is the new testament 
in my blood, which is shed for you." 
(Luke 22:19-20.) And, "For as often 
as ye eat this bread, and drink this 
cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till 
he come." (1 Cor. 11:26.) 

This is not only a way to have a 
vitalizing spiritual experience with our 
Redeemer, but it is also a way that we 
can have a rewarding association with 
our fellowmen. Next to God, the most 
inspiring creation in the universe is a 
great human being formed in God's 
image. And one of the reasons that 
we have been endowed with his great 
attributes is that with them we might 

inspire each other. It has been pointed 
out that when the veils of our mortality 
are drawn aside, the most ordinary 
individual that we know may be the 
kind of* person that we would feel like 
falling down and worshiping before. 
If we could have visited with Abraham 
as he herded his sheep on the deserts of 
Palestine, we may not have been great- 
ly impressed. But if we could have 
been at his side as he stood among 
the noble and great in the antemortal 
councils of God, or if we could be 
with him now as he serves in God's 
heavenly kingdom, the experience 
would likely be a much more memo- 
rable one. And what wonderful people 
we might discover each Sabbath day 
if we could see our brothers and sisters 
in the light of their real identity as 
children of God. The Prophet Joseph 
Smith said that "if we could look into 
heaven for five minutes we would learn 
more than by reading all of the books 
that have ever been written on that 
subject." But all of our brothers and 
sisters were themselves in heaven just a 
few years ago, and we may shortly see 
them there again. 

It is helpful for us to remember that 
God, angels, spirits, and men are all 
of the same species in different stages of 
development and in various degrees 
of righteousness. And the apostle Paul 
says that we should not be "forgetful 
to entertain strangers: for thereby some 

have entertained angels unawares." 
(Heb. 13:2.) 

But who are these with whom we 
worship? King David asks a helpful 
question where he exclaims, "What is 
man, that thou art mindful of him?' 
and the son of man, that thou visitest 

"For thou hast made him a little 
lower than the angels, and hast 
crowned him with glory and honour. 

"Thou madest him to have dominion 
over the works of thy hands; thou hast 
put all things under his feet." (Ps. 

One Bible translation says, "Thou 
hast made him for a little while lower 
than the angels." (Italics added.) In 
some ways even Jesus was made lower 
than the angels temporarily. And what 
a thrill it ought to be for us each week 
to properly honor God and our fellow 
human beings as he has directed. And 
we are sure that someday when we 
come to stand before God, we will find 
that those who have effectively kept his 
commandments will be different kind 
of people than those who have ignored 
or disobeyed him. And so in imagina- 
tion we might go again to stand before 
the fires of Mount Sinai and hear the 
thrilling command wherein God said, 
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep 
it holy." And may he help us so to do, I 
humbly pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. Q 

Spiritual Reservoirs 

Spencer W. Kimball 
Of the Council of the Twelve 

• President McKay, brethren, brothers 
and sisters, and friends: 

You have heard the impressive mes- 
sage of the Prophet of the Lord. May I 
express the hope that you will give heed 
to his admonitions and follow him on 
the safe and sure way to eternal life. 

When I was a youngster, a stirring 
challenge came to me that moved me 
not a little. I cannot remember who 
issued the challenge nor under what 

circumstances it came. I remember only 
that it struck me like a "bolt out of the 
blue heavens." The unknown voice 

"The 'Mormon Church' has stood its 
ground for the first two generations — 
but wait till the third and fourth and 
succeeding generations come along! 
The first generation fired with a new 
religion developed a great enthusiasm 
for it. Surrounded with bitterness, 

calumny of a hostile world, persecuted 
'from pillar to post,' they were forced 
to huddle together for survival. There 
was good reason to expect they would 
live and die faithful to their espoused 

"The second generation came along 
born to enthusiasts, zealots, devotees. 
They were born to men and women 
who had developed great faith, were 
inured to hardships and sacrifices for 

December 1969 


their faith. They inherited from their 
parents and soaked up from re- 
ligious homes the stuff of which the 
faithful are made. They had full 
reservoirs of strength and faith upon 
which to draw. 

"But wait till the third and fourth 
generations come along," said the cyni- 
cal voice. "The fire will have gone 
out — the devotion will have heen di- 
luted — the sacrifice will have been 
nullified — the world will have hovered 
over them and surrounded them and 
eroded them — the faith will have been 
expended and the religious fervor 
leaked out." 

That day I realized that I was a 
member of the third generation. That 
day I clenched my growing fists. I 
gritted my teeth and made a firm com- 
mitment to myself that here was one 
"third generation" who would not ful- 
fill that dire prediction. 

And now, we are in the sixth and 
seventh generations from the original 
Church convert, and we still find stal- 
warts in most branches of the family, 
hundreds in the mission fields, numer- 
ous others in Church positions of 
responsibility. And I have come to 
realize that it is not the generation 
number which makes the difference 
but the care and exactness with which 
parents teach and train and fortify 
their offspring. 

I grew up in a dry country. It seemed 
to me that hardly ever was tbere enough 
rain spread over the crop-gowing period 
to carry us through the season— not 
enough water in the river to distribute 
between the many hungry canals and 
the tens of thousands of thirsty acres, 
not enough to irrigate all the crops. 

We learned to pray for rain — we al- 
ways prayed for rain. 

When I was still very small, I knew 
that plants could not survive in a dry 
country more than about two or three 
weeks without water. I knew how to 
harness up the old mare to a lizard — 
a forked log on which a barrel was 
placed — and I drove the animal to the 
"big ditch," the Union Canal, which 
was a block below our home. With a 
bucket, I scooped up water from the 
small stream or the puddles and filled 
the barrel, and the horse dragged it 
back so I could pour bucketsful of the 
precious liquid on the roses, the violets, 
and other flowers and the small shrubs 
and hedges and new trees. Water was 
like liquid gold, so reservoirs became 
the warp and woof of the fabric of my 
life. Around the table, we talked of 
water, irrigation, crops, floods, hot, dry 
weeks, and cloudless skies. 

We used to look for clouds somewhat 
as did Elijah and his people after the 
three-year drought. 

After the dramatic experience with 

the prophets of Baal, Elijah had gone 
to the top of Mt. Carmel and had said 
to King Ahab, ". . . there is a sound of 
abundance of rain." Elijah's servant 
had gone to a high spot and looked for 
promising clouds. The first six times 
he looked, returned, and reported, 
"There is nothing," but the seventh 
time he reported that there was arising 
out of the sea a little cloud like a 
man's hand. Soon, the heavens were 
black with heavy pregnant clouds and 
"there was a great rain." (See 1 Kings 

Through the warm dry summers, we 
always seemed to be looking for dark, 
heavy clouds. And every year, the 
clouds did amass, and the thunder- 
storms did come, and the dry washes 
did run for a few hours, and the river 
roared down its channel. 

But the canals were still empty, and 
the brush and rock dams were washed 
down the river by the first raging tor- 
rent. Then came the call for the able- 
bodied men to rush to the heads of 
the canals to build new dams, to get the 
canals full before the river water had 
all run down to the sea. And 
when working in the flood, hauling 
brush and trees, rocks and dirt, 
horses floundered and were sometimes 
drowned and men had narrow escapes. 

Years later we built aprons of con- 
crete that were protected by rock and 
wire sausages. 

Later I learned that even depend- 
able diversion dams were not enough. 
A reservoir was needed — a high dam 
that would impound the fall, winter, 
and spring rains and keep them stored 
for the later need. 

And as I pondered, I came to realize 
that there were reservoirs of many 
kinds — reservoirs to store water, some 
to store food, as we do in our family 
welfare program, some like the barns 
and bins set up by Joseph in the land 
of Egypt in which to store the seven 
years of plenty to carry them over the 
seven years of drought and famine. 

I realized that there should be 
reservoirs of knowledge to meet the 
future needs; reservoirs of courage to 
overcome the floods of fear that put 
uncertainty in lives; storage of physi- 
cal strength to help us meet the fre- 
quent contaminations and contagions; 
reservoirs of goodness; reservoirs of 
stamina; reservoirs of faith. Yes, reser- 
voirs of faith so that when the world 
presses in upon us, we stand firm and 
strong; when the temptations of a de- 
caying world about us draw on our 
energies, sap our spiritual vitality, and 
seek to pull us down to the level of the 
worldly world, we need a storage of 
faith that can carry youth through the 
tantalizing teens and through the 
problems of later years. Faith to carry 

us over the dull, the difficult, the terri- 
fying moments, disappointments, dis- 
illusionments, and years of adversity, 
want, confusion, and frustration. 

And who are to build these reser- 
voirs? Is this not the reason that God 
gave to every child two parents? 

Who else but the forebears would 
clear the forests, plow the land, carve 
out the futures? Who else would set 
up the businesses, dig the canals, sur- 
vey the territory? Who else would 
plant the orchards, start the vineyards, 
erect the homes? 

In his omniscience, our God gave to 
every child a father and mother to 
pioneer the way. And so it is those 
parents who sired them and bore them 
who are expected to lay foundations 
and to hold the hands through the 
tender years to build the barns and 
tanks and bins and reservoirs. 

Did not the Lord, speaking of par- 
ents, say, "And they shall also teach 
their children to pray, and to walk 
uprightly before the Lord"? (D&C 

Is it not the work of the parents to 
build so their children can inhabit 
houses they did not build; eat the fruit 
from trees they did not plant and 
grapes from vines they did not start? 
Parents should be soberly about their 
life's work of building reservoirs and 
helping to fill them for the children 
who are yet too small to hoe, or dig, 
or plow. 

I am grateful to my parents, for 
they made reservoirs for my brothers, 
my sisters, and myself. They filled 
them with prayer habits, study, activi- 
ties, positive services, and truth and 
righteousness. Every morning and 
every night, we knelt at our chairs 
with backs to the table and prayed, 
taking turns. When I was married, 
the habit persisted, and our new family 
continued the practice. 

Some parents are casual or careless 
or fail to do their duty. These consti- 
tute leaks in the dams. The story of 
Peter with his thumb in the dike may 
be a myth, but the moral is not a 

Lehi and Sariah built and filled 
reservoirs for their children. One said: 

"I, Nephi, having been born of good- 
ly parents, therefore I was taught 
somewhat in all the learning of my 
father; . . . having had a great knowl- 
edge of the goodness and the mysteries 
of God, therefore I make a record of 
my proceedings. ..." (1 Ne. 1:1.) 

Though two of the brothers ignored 
those teachings, using their own free 
agency, yet Nephi and others of his 
brothers were strongly fortified and all 
their lives could draw heavily on the 
reservoir built and filled by worthy 


Improvement Era 

Abraham built such a reservoir for 
his son Isaac, and it seemed never to 
have leaked dry, for we find his son 
one of the patriarchs and always linked 
with the God of Abraham, the God of 
Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And he 
seems to fit the words of Jeremiah: 

"For he shall be as a tree planted by 
the waters, and that spreadeth out her 
roots by the river, and shall not sec 
when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be 
green; and shall not be careful in the 
year of drought, neither shall cease 
from yielding fruit." (Jer. 17:8.) 

Jacob, another of the sons of Lehi, 
drew heavily from the storage inherited 
from his father, and he passed the 
same to his son Enos, who bore testi- 
mony of it: 

". . . I, Enos, knowing my father that 
he was a just man — for he taught me 
... in the nurture and admonition of 
the Lord — and blessed be the name of 
my God for it. 

"... I had often heard my father 
speak concerning eternal life, and the 
joy of the saints, sunk deep into my 
heart." (Enos 1, 3.) 

Enos asked how such a miracle as 

forgiveness could possibly come, and 
the answer came from the Lord: "Be- 
cause of thy faith in Christ, whom 
thou hast never before heard, nor seen 
. . . thy faith hath made thee whole." 
(Enos 8.) Enos was able to draw 
heavily on the reservoir of faith his 
parents had set up for their children. 

One day I met a delightful couple — 
faithful Latter-day Saints with a splen- 
did family and a successful life. They 
told me of their family history. The 
husband was one of seven children of 
a family of active people, where the 
Lord was center in their lives. All but 
one of the seven had remained faith- 
ful, filled honorable missions, married 
in the temple, and had successful, 
happy families, as had their parents 
before them. The one had strayed and 
had marital and other serious problems. 

On the other hand, the wife was one 
of seven children in a contemporary 
family where the Church meant little 
in their lives, and they had bypassed 
tithing, prayers, and all church activi- 
ties, and had ignored the spiritual part 
of their lives. All seven of the children 
had been reared in the same household, 

subject to the same conditions, and all 
seven of them but this one ignored their 
spiritual obligations, as their parents 
had done before them. 

The first parents had built and filled 
a high, strong reservoir of habits and 
qualities of faith for their children. 
Both families had the same commjnity 

The second family built no reservoir 
of spiritual strength but depended on 
the runoff. The uncertain little dams, 
like our brush and rock ones, had 
washed away when the torrents 
flooded. There were cracks in the dam 
and leaks in the reservoir. In the one 
family, six of the seven remained righ- 
teous; in the other, six of the seven 
followed the careless ways of the par- 
ents in unrighteousness and only one 
of the seven remained faithful. 

The Lord had commanded that "he 
that observeth not his prayers before 
the Lord in the season thereof, let him 
be had in remembrance before the 
judge of my people." (D&C 68:33.) 
And the Lord had also expressed con- 
cern and disapproval of his people in 
Zion who were idlers, "and their chil- 


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dren arc also growing up in wickedness; 
they also seek not earnestly the riches 
of eternity, but their eyes are full of 
greediness." (D&C 68:31.) 

Again, as I remembered the so-called 
doomed third and fourth generations, 
there were two brothers of the second 
generation. Both had large families now 
in the sixth and seventh generations, 
running into many hundreds each. The 
one brother became disgruntled and the 
other remained faithful. The children 
of the one in their third generation 
began to fall away, as did their father. 
Activity reduced, there were only occa- 
sional temple marriages, and few went 
on missions. Then in the fourth gen- 
eration, there were no temple mar- 
riages, no missions, few baptisms, and 
very little activity in spiritual things. 
The fifth generation deteriorated to 
rank apostasy. In the sixth generation, 
with just an occasional exception, the 
whole tribe was estranged from the 

The ancestor had failed to keep his 
reservoir intact and full for his pos- 
terity to draw upon. 

On the other hand, the second 
brother remained faithful all his life 
and finally "died in the harness." His 
third and fourth and fifth generations 
have also remained true and faithful 
with a few exceptions. The majority of 
the posterity of the one was out of the 
faith like the parents, and the majority 
of the other followed the parents into 
activity and faith. Spiritual reservoirs! 

An editorial from the Church Sec- 
tion of the Deseret News read: 

"Good homes must rate high in 
companionship between children and 
parents, in having a well ordered 
household, with love between parents 
and between children and parents. 

"They must build righteous loyalties, 
good character, a willingness to work, a 
spirit of humility, and an absence of 
unjust pride, and they must teach a 
deep and abiding faith in God." 

To this end, the Lord has inspired 
his church to place a great new and 
increased emphasis on that building 

Every family is urged to engage in 
regular night and morning family 
prayers and to devote at least one 
evening a week at home in the sweet 
family togetherness undisturbed by the 
world or any of its allurements. They 
will plan to turn off the TV and radio, 
leave the telephone unanswered, can- 
cel all calls or appointments, and spend 
a warm, homey evening together. 

While one objective is reached by 
merely being together, yet the addi- 
tional and greater value can come from 
the lessons of life. The father will 
teach the children. Here they can learn 
integrity, honor, dependableness, sac- 

rifice, and faith in God. Life's experi- 
ences and the scriptures are the basis 
of the teaching and this, wrapped up 
in filial and parental love, makes an 
impact nothing else can make. Thus, 
reservoirs of righteousness are filled to 
carry children through the dark days of 
temptation and desire, of drought and 
skepticism. As they grow up, the 
children cooperate in building this 
storage for themselves and the family. 
And so we have the home evening and 
the family prayers and the simple 
things that have been taught to us all 
our days. 

One day, long ago, we crossed a 
boundary into a distant city where 
walls and curtains separated people; 
and behind the walls, strange ideologies 
were taught and "pernicious doctrines" 
promulgated every day in the schools 
and otherwise. 

Every day the children listened to 
schoolteachers with foreign and strange 
doctrines, philosophies, and ideals. 

Someone said that "constant dripping 
will wear away the hardest stone." This 
I knew, so I asked about the children: 
"Do they retain their faith? Are they 
not overcome by the constant pressure 
of their teachers? How can you be sure 
they will not leave you and the simple 
faith in God?" 

The answer was unmistakable. "We 
mend the damaged reservoir every 
night," they said. "We teach our 
children positive righteousness so that 
the false philosophies do not take hold, 
and should any have taken lodgment 
in the day, we dislodge them at night. 
Our children are growing up in faith 
and righteousness in spite of the over- 
whelming pressures from outside." 

Generally, cracked dams can be 
mended and saved, and sand bags can 
hold back the flood; and reiterated 
truth, renewed prayer, gospel teachings, 
a flood of love, and parental interest 
can save the child and keep him on 
the right path. 

I like to compare the home evening, 
family prayer, and other associated 
activities of the Church for the saving 
of the family, when they are con- 
scientiously carried out, with an um- 
brella. If the umbrella is not opened 
up, it is little more than a cane and 
can give little protection from the 
storms of nature. Likewise, God-given 
plans are of little value unless they are 

The umbrella spread out makes the 
silken material taut. When the rain 
falls, it runs off; when the snow falls, 
it slides off; when the hail comes, it 
bounces off; when the wind blows, it is 
diverted around the umbrella. And in 
like manner, this spiritual umbrella 
wards off the foes of ignorance, super- 
stition, skepticism, apostasy, immoral- 


Improvement Era 

ity, and other forms of godlessness. 

It is my prayer that we shall all 
spread our spiritual umbrellas for pro- 
tection of our families and keep our 

reservoirs full of faith and integrity; worthy, and God-fearing, 
and we can promise that the third and May this be our happy blessing, I 

fourth generations and indeed the tenth pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, 

and the fiftieth will still be faithful, Amen. Q 





1 1 Iffi : :i 

Friday afternoon session, October 3, 1969 

The Significance of 

:: ::# 


Marvin J. Ashton 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 

, :■ 

::;-:-;: :.■ -. -' ~- ■ - t ::.::: ; : r; ■ •: ■■>*, 5: • :£■;,.■■ ■ -±,, - 

• Six months ago, by appointment 
from the First Presidency, we attended 
a mission-wide conference in South 
Africa. After four glorious days with 
the wonderful people of that nation, 
and as we were leaving, many of the 
members said: "When you return, 
please give our best regards and love 
to our friends all over the world." Little 
did they realize, and little did I realize 
at that time, that I would have this 
kind of an opportunity of extending 
their love to their friends worldwide. 

Since this responsibility has come to 
me, I have thought a great deal about 
friends in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I 
am reminded in the 84th section of the 
Doctrine and Covenants, that great 
revelation on priesthood, of how the 
Savior reported through the Prophet 
Joseph Smith, in verse 63, ". . . you are 
mine apostles, even God's high priests; 
ye are they whom my Father hath 
given me; ye are my friends," indicat- 
ing the importance and blessing of 
being recognized as a friend of the 

May I leave this thought with you 
as we think of friends and the part 
they should play in our lives as Latter- 
day Saints. Perhaps this simple illus- 
tration will help us to realize the need 
of being friends in the home, friends in 
the neighborhood, and friends in the 

Some months ago my wife and I 
were in the front of our yard when 
the newspaper boy came down the 

street on his bicycle. His bicycle was 
loaded with papers. About twenty or 
thirty yards in back of him, there was 
another boy following him on a bi- 
cycle. I was not sure at that time what 
their relationship was, but I did notice 
they were coming down the street at 
a pretty good clip. 

When the newspaper boy came to 
our sidewalk entry, he was traveling 
too fast to make the approach to our 
home, and, as a result, he went one 
way, the bicycle went another way, and 
the papers went everywhere. Noticing 
the boy had fallen on the lawn and 
was not hurt, but realizing that he 
would undoubtedly be embarrassed 
from the fall in front of his friend, 
we moved toward him. 

At the sight of this perfect three- 
point landing, if we may refer to it as 
that, his companion shouted his 
pleasure and laughed heartily with 
complete and full enjoyment at the 
misfortune of his associate. 

Trying to relieve the embarrassment 
of the paper boy, knowing he didn't 
want help but he wanted to have his 
pride repaired a little, I took a few- 
more steps toward him and said: "It's 
kind of a low blow to have your friend 
laugh when you've had a bad spill, 
isn't it?" 

He went on picking up his papers 
without even looking up. Finally, he 
had the papers back in place and got 
on his bicycle; and as he started out 
away from our home, he made the re- 

mark: "He isn't my friend — he's my 

His words have been ringing through 
my ears with a great deal of signifi- 
cance ever since then. Brothers and 
sisters, I sincerely feel that one of the 
great purposes of family evenings and 
home teaching is to have family mem- 
bers realize that a brother can be a 
friend, and that a sister can be a friend, 
and that a father and a mother can be 
more than parents, they can be friends. 

I would hope and pray that we may 
catch the wisdom and the inspiration 
of building a home so that our mem- 
bers in that sacred unit can look upon 
a father and say, "He is my best 
friend," or "My mother is more than a 
mother, she is my friend." When we 
realize that parents and family mem- 
bers can be more than blood relations 
and are in very deed friends, then we 
will have a glimpse of how our Heav- 
enly Father wants us to live, not only 
as brothers and sisters but as very close 

I humbly bear testimony to you this 
day that this is our Heavenly Father's 
work, and that I approach this new- 
assignment in all humility, aware of 
the fact that I need your blessings to 
carry on and to function as our Master 
would have me serve. May I express to 
President David O. McKay my grati- 
tude and appreciation for his confi- 
dence in calling me to serve with him 
and these brethren, my friends, I pray 
in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Q 

December 1969 


!h;3i:. "'? 

The Sure Word of Prophecy 

LeGrand Richards 
Of the Council of the Twelve 

• I should first like to extend my con- 
gratulations to Elder Ashton on his 
call. He can't help it, but I'm his uncle 
by marriage and I am proud of him. 
Furthermore, he is a son of my first 
counselor when I served as the Presid- 
ing Bishop of the Church, and of all 
the men who have been General Au- 
thorities in this church, I think his 
father was one of the most beloved 
throughout the entire Church. 

Now I greet all of you brothers and 
sisters here today and express my love 
for you and my appreciation for your 
kindness to me as I travel throughout 
the Church, and my congratulations 
for your great contributions in helping 
to build our Father's kingdom. In 
your presence I would like to express 
my love for my Father in heaven and 
for his Son Jesus Christ and for the 
holy scriptures, for without them what 
would we know about the love' of out- 
Father in heaven, who gave us his Only 
Begotten Son, "that whosoever be- 
lieveth in him should not perish, but 
have eternal life"? (John 3:15.) And 
what would we know about the life and 
the labors, the teachings, the example, 
and the great atoning sacrifice of the 
Redeemer of the world? No wonder 
we love him and are proud to be his 

I love the scriptures. I love the 
words of the prophets, for the Lord 
has permitted many of them to look- 
down through the stream of time and 
behold coming events of great im- 
portance in this world. 

I think of the words of Jesus as he 
walked with two of his disciples as 
they were on their way to Emmaus 
following his resurrection, and we are 
told that "their eyes were holden that 
they should not know him." (Luke 
24:16.) When he heard what they 
had to say, he realized that notwith- 
standing the time he had spent with 

them, they did not comprehend the 
magnitude of his ministry, and he 
said: "O fools, and slow of heart to 
believe all that the prophets have 
spoken." (Luke 24:25.) Commencing 
with Moses and the prophets, he 
showed them how in all things the 
prophets had testified of him. 

To me there are two great events 
recorded in the holy scriptures that are 
outstanding above all others, and one 
is the announcement by the holy 
prophets of the coming of the Re- 
deemer of the world in the meridian of 
time. Those prophets were permitted 
to describe his life and his ministry in 
such minute detail that they even told 
how lots would be cast for his clothing 
at the time of his crucifixion. Then the 
next important event outlined by the 
holy prophets, in my estimation, is 
what the prophets had to say about his 
second coming and the preparation for 
that coming, and that is the mission 
of this great church. 

I think of the. words of the apostle 
Peter. He said: 

"We have also a more sure word of 
prophecy; whereunto ye do well that 
ye take heed, as unto a light that 
shineth in a dark place, until the day 
dawn, and the day star arise in your 

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy 
of the scripture is of any private inter- 

"For the prophecy came not in old 
time by the will of man: but holy men 
of God spake as they were moved by 
the Holy Ghost." (2 Pet. 1:19-21.) 

I like the words of the prophets who 
have declared this day. I think of the 
words of the apostle Peter following the 
day of Pentecost, when he said the 
heavens must receive the Christ "until 
the times of restitution of all things, 
which God hath spoken by the mouth 
of all his holy prophets since the 

world began." (Acts 3:21.) We have 
that restitution. There isn't time today 
to go into the details of the ministra- 
tion of heavenly messengers that have 
been sent to this earth in order to 
restore the gospel and prepare the way 
for his coming, which is the restitution 
of all things. 

I like the statement by John the 
Revelator when he was banished upon 
the Isle of Patmos and the angel of 
the Lord said, "Come up hither, and 
I will shew thee things which must be 
hereafter." (Rev. 4:1.) He was shown 
the great power that would be given 
to Satan to make war with the saints — 
the saints were the followers of the 
meek and lowly Master — and that 
Satan would be given power over every 
nation and every kindred and every 
tongue and every people, but after he 
saw that great day of darkness he also 
saw a day of light. He saw "another 
angel fly in the midst of heaven, hav- 
ing the everlasting gospel to preach 
unto them that dwell on the earth, and 
to every nation, and kindred, and 
tongue, and people." (Rev. 14:6.) That 
doesn't leave out anybody! We have 
that everlasting gospel that the Lord 
promised to send to prepare the way for 
the coming of the Lord. 

I like the statement of Isaiah. He 
said the Lord had declared the end 
from the beginning. (See Isa. 41:26.) 
It is all there in the holy scriptures if 
we know how to read them and under- 
stand them in the spirit in which they 
were written, namely, the spirit of the 
Holy Ghost. He said: "The grass 
withereth, the flower fadeth: but the 
word of our God shall stand for ever." 
(Isa. 40:8.) 

I like the statement of Isaiah, who, 

when he saw the conditions when men 

would worship God by the precepts of 

men, said: "Wherefore the Lord said 

. . . behold, I will proceed to do a 


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December 1969 


marvellous work among this people, 
even a marvellous work and a wonder: 
for the wisdom of their wise men shall 
perish, and the understanding of their 
prudent men shall he hid." (Isa. 29:13- 

We have that marvelous work and 
a wonder, and I know that as you do, 
and we have a great responsibility to 
share that with our fellowmen through- 
out the world. I trust that those who 
are listening to this conference will he 
impressed with the fact that this 
church has more to offer than any other 
church in all this world. 

I like the words of Malachi the 
prophet, when he saw the latter days 
and said: "Behold, I will send you 
Elijah the prophet before the coming 
of the great and dreadful day of the 

"And he shall turn the heart of the 
fathers to the children, and the heart 
of the children to their fathers, lest I 
come and smite the earth with a curse." 
(Mai. 4:5-6.) 

What would the consequences really 
have been, had it not been for the 
coming of Elijah the prophet, and 
how could the kingdom be prepared 
for the coming of the Master without all 
these things finding their fulfillment? 
All of this constitutes what Paul said 
when he said the Lord had revealed 
unto him the mystery of his will, "that 
in the dispensation of the fulness of 
times he might gather together in one 
all things in Christ, both which are in 
heaven, and which are on earth. . . ." 
(Eph. 1:10.) 

We have that responsibility, and we 
are the only church in the world that 
knows anything about that marvelous 
mystery that God revealed to Paul of 
this great work of uniting that which 
is in heaven with that which is here 
upon this earth. 

I like the statement of Isaiah, which 
was quoted by Moroni to the Prophet 
Joseph when he visited him three times 
in the night, and again the next morn- 
ing when Joseph was only a lad 17 
years old. He quoted the words of 
Isaiah where the Lord said that he 
would set his hand again the second 
time to gather scattered Israel. (Sec 
Isa. 11:11.) He has been doing that. 
Many of you are descendants of those 
who have been gathered from all over 
this earth in fulfillment of that predic- 
tion. He said he would bring in the 
dispersed of Judah, and after 2,000 
years of their wanderings and their 
persecutions, they have been led back 
to their own land, for God gave them 
that land as an eternal inheritance. 

And that isn't all. He said he would 
set up an ensign for the nations. (Isa. 
11:12.) Now I don't know what you 
think about an ensign. It seems to 

me that means he would do something 
better than he had ever done before or 
than could be found anywhere else in 
all this world. That is what this 
church really is. Now if I should make 
reference to a few comments made by 
people who have come among us and 
have been sufficiently without preju- 
dice that they could recognize what 
this church is doing, I hope nobody 
will think that I am boasting. 

We had here in our midst just a few 
years ago a great economist, not only 
of the United States but of the world. 
One of our banker friends gave a ban- 
quet for him at the Hotel Utah. There 
were 25 of us invited there, and after 
the governor and the President of the 
Church had said a few words, they 
asked this man if he would like to say 
something. He stood there and his jaw 
began to quiver and the tears began 
to roll down his cheeks, and he made 
this statement: "I have never stood in 
such presence in my life. I have to 
come out here to these valleys of the 
mountains to find the kind of Chris- 
tianity I think can save the world." 
(Just to Illustrate [Bookcraft, 1961], 
p. 181.) Now we are happy that he 
could recognize that. 

We had a man here in our midst a 
short time ago, a Dr. Polian of Iran. 
He was sent to the United States by his 
government to study the American 
people. After spending three days here 
in Salt Lake City, he made this state- 
ment: "I have been in the United 
States eleven months as a representative 
from my government to study the 
American people, and I- have obtained 
a more favorable impression of them 
in the two days I have spent in Salt 
Lake City than in all the rest of the 
eleven months." (Ibid., p. 129.) Now 
there must be something that provokes 
that kind of a statement. 

I want to read you a statement that 
impressed me very much, and I apolo- 
gize to Brother [Marion D.] Hanks for 
doing it. During President Dwight D. 
Eisenhower's administration, a youth 
conference was held in Washington. 
There were 7,000 representatives there 
from all over the United States and 
probably from other countries. Brother 
Hanks was asked to give the keynote 
address — not just to be one of the 
speakers at the convention, but to de- 
liver the keynote address. After he had 
concluded, the man who had conducted 
the meeting made this statement: 

"As I sat here I reflected that Mr. 
Hanks comes from people that were 
driven from our region of the country 
because of the things they believed, and 
suffered bitter persecution for their 
ideals, who went finally to the far 
reaches of this country where they 
thought themselves away from all this. 

Now we have invited a leader of that 
people to come here to talk to us of the 
same ideals and principles for which 
we drove them away." (Ibid., p. 208.) 

It takes truth a long while to travel, 
but she finally gets her boots on. I 
am reminded of the fable about Truth 
and Error: they went out into the river 
to bathe, and Error came out first and 
dressed herself in Truth's clothing and 
has been traveling in it ever since. 
But because Truth wouldn't dress her- 
self in Error's clothing, we always 
speak of the naked Truth! 

Just a few years ago we had the 
president of a college down in Cali- 
fornia teach at the summer school of 
Brigham Young University. At the 
close of the summer, in an interview 
with one of our reporters, he made this 
significant statement: "It may well be 
that the Mormon people have the key 
that will eventually save this country." 
There must be something back of a 
people and a program that would call 
for such compliments from a president 
of a college. Incidentally, he was so 
impressed that he has since joined the 

Now we have people come here by 
the millions to our Visitors Center. 
Some of them go away feeling like 
they have been in heaven, because the 
things they see there are so wonderful. 
Then they are taken to Welfare Square, 
and we have a book down there where 
they can write their impressions of 
what they see. I'd like to read you just 
a few statements. The book is full of 
them, but this is just typical of the 
impressions. This is from a representa- 
tive from England: "This has been an 
extraordinary experience, and it seems 
to me to be one of the best examples of 
practical Christianity in the modern 

This one is from a Baptist: "It is a 
pattern for our federal government to 
attempt to follow." A non-Church 
member: "This is the most wonderful 
thing I have ever seen, and I hope to 
come back again." A Hebrew: "This in 
my way of thinking is a real religion." 
A non-Church member: "We believe 
your church and its members are doing 
the great deeds that may some day 
achieve a true brotherhood of man." 
We knew that. This is the greatest 
brotherhood in all this world any- 
where. And then from a Catholic: "A 
wonderful project and something other 
faiths might well copy." A Methodist: 
"I'm flabbergasted" — whatever that 
means! An Episcopalian: "Beyond 

Now I want to read you just a few 
words from people who attended the 
New York Fair, and they had a book 
there where these impressions could be 
written after they had seen our dis- 


Improvement Era 

play. First, a Catholic priest: "I think 
I will leave my priesthood and join 
you." A Lutheran from New York: 
"It is very difficult and words cannot 
express the true feeling of goodness 
one gets while touring your pavilion." 
A Catholic from New York: "There is 
hope for the world with people like 
you." A Protestant: "I love it — sounds 
great. Please send me someone." There 
are a lot more just like that, hut I 
w anted you to hear a few. 

Now there must be something to this 
institution. Isn't that what Isaiah 
meant when he said that he would set 

an ensign to the nations? People see 
that we are doing things differently 
than they have been done before. We 
had a man on the campus at Brigham 
Young University in June 1968. He 
said that he had been at that univer- 
sity in Provo, Utah, year after year 
since 1940, and then he added this: 
"I am becoming convinced that the 
only salvation for the United States is 
for all Christians converting to Mor- 
monism." They will be converted just 
as fast as our great army of Mormon 
missionaries can reach them; and if, 
in the words of Jesus, they truly hunger 

and thirst after righteousness, they shall 
be filled. 

God bless you all, brothers and sis- 
ters. We have the greatest thing to 
offer in all this world. It is the restored 
gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is 
not a reformation. It came from heav- 
en, from holy messengers, and I bear 
you that witness because I know it as 
I know that I stand here. May God 
help us to share it with our neighbors 
and our friends and the whole world, I 
pray, and ask God to bless you all in 
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Amen. O 

The Principle of Unity 

Theodore M. Burton 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 

• My brothers and sisters: One of the 
most beautiful prayers ever offered is 
found recorded in the Gospel of John. 
It was given as Jesus opened his heart 
in prayer to God the Eternal Father, 
pleading for unity not only among the 
apostles, but also asking that those who 
follow their words might reach a state 
of unity such as that found in the 
Godhead. They were to preach a 
gospel of peace and love, and so he 

"Neither pray I for these (the apos- 
tles] alone, but for them also which 
shall believe on me through their 

"That they all might be one; as thou, 
Father, art in me, and I in thee, that 
they also may be one in us: that the 
world may believe that thou hast sent 
me" (John 17:20-21.) 

Our present world is torn by argu- 
ment, dissension, violence, war, and 
rumors of war, and because of the tur- 
moil on every side, men's hearts are 
beginning to fail them. If men are to 
retain their sanity and hope, they 
must have an assurance of a peaceful 
solution for the ills of mankind. This 
assurance can be given if we who claim 
to be true followers of Jesus Christ 

demonstrate that unity spoken of in 
that great prayer from which I have 
quoted Christ's plea for unity. 

I feel impressed to stress the neces- 
sity for unity as one of the greatest 
needs of our present-day world. Not 
only does it apply to the world in gen- 
eral, but it is particularly important 
within the Church if we are to take our 
rightful place in leading mankind to- 
ward peace. 

In our generation the Savior gave us 
a statement so often used by the late 
President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.: "... I 
say unto you, be one; and if ye are not 
one ye are not mine." (D&C 38:27.) 

This doctrine is built upon true love, 
even the love of Christ, and is a most 
important principle of the gospel. 
Without the love of one man for an- 
other, how can justice and real free- 
dom ever be achieved? Unless every 
man esteems his brother as himself and 
practices virtue and holiness before the 
Lord, how can that person hope to 
live in the presence of God, where 
unity, love, virtue, and truth abound? 
No unrighteousness can exist in the 
presence of God, and unless we learn 
to overcome disunity and unrighteous- 
ness here upon the earth, we cannot 

hope to be restored to live in the 
presence of God the Eternal Father in 
the resurrection to come. 

What causes disunity and friction? 
There are many reasons for disunity, 
but one of the principal reasons is the 
ego of man himself. I define this ego 
as the desire to be acknowledged as a 
person different from others. This de- 
sire is not evil in itself. In fact, proper- 
ly directed, it can be a great virtue. 
There is a certain amount of faith or 
pride in one's self that every successful 
and happy person must have. Only 
when the ego develops into egotism 
must we beware. Ego becomes evil 
when a person becomes obtrusive and 
makes excessive reference to himself as 
to his own importance. Beware when 
a man or woman monopolizes conver- 
sations and shows a disregard for the 
opinions of others. When a man is 
not humble and seeks to excel and 
outdo others, he is in a very dangerous 
position. I feel such a spirit is born of 
selfishness and a lack of the true spirit 
of Jesus Christ. 

An example of such a spirit is evi- 
dent in the case of William W. 
Phelps. Brother Phelps was a good 
man and a capable man, but he be- 

December 1969 




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came too ambitious, letting pride move 
him to seek honors to which he was 
not entitled. The Prophet Joseph loved 
that good man, as did the Lord also. 
As a result, he was given a warning 
against this fault in his character. The 
Lord warned him: 

"And also let my servant William 
W. Phelps stand in the office to which 
I have appointed him, and receive his 
inheritance in the land; 

"And also he hath need to repent, for 
I, the Lord, am not well pleased with 
him, for he seeketh to excel, and he is 
not sufficiently meek before me." (D&C 

Elder Phelps failed to heed the warn- 
ing, and one thing led to another until 
he actually rebelled against the Prophet 
Joseph. When he found himself kick- 
ing against the pricks of conscience, he 
repented, humbled himself, and apolo- 
gized for his conduct. He was forgiven 
and brought back into full church 
fellowship. In my opinion he was a 
great man of courage who was not 
ashamed to acknowledge a fault and 
had the strength to overcome it. Not 
all men have the greatness of character 
that William W. Phelps had. Too 
many who seek to excel lack humility, 
and if they do not curb this fault they 
will lose their inheritance in the Lord's 

I suppose disunity in the Church 
begins when each of us becomes so 
wrapped up in our own interests and 
assignments that we lose the full 
perspective of the gospel of Jesus Christ 
as a united whole. We become so in- 
volved with our own particular interests 
that we forget that the gospel involves 
the whole of life. Sunday School, mis- 
sionary work, priesthood, genealogy, 
temple work, welfare, home teaching, 
education, or whatever interest we have 
or church position we occupy at present 
is only part of the gospel whole. It is 
true that we are expected to push our 
own particular assignment, but not at 
the expense of others. It is most unwise 
to try to advance the field in which 
we are presently interested by down- 
grading the activities of others. We 
should never push one organization at 
the expense of another. An apprecia- 
tion of diversification is the basis of 
unity. Though I strive to push priest- 
hood, genealogy, and temple work with 
all my power, I should never resent 
any other gospel organization or prin- 
ciple within the Church structure, or 
sow discord among my brethren. 

Unity can come when I learn to ap- 
preciate each person in the Church 
and the value of every aspect of church 
organization. This is true of a deacons 
quorum, and it is true of the highest 
quorum of the Church, that of the First 
Presidency. Loyalty among the men 

of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 
is no more necessary for them than 
loyalty within a teachers or an elders 
quorum. When discussions arise among 
strong-minded men and women, anger 
must never be evident. Men and women 
should be free to state their opinions 
without fear, but they should do so 
without rancor or envy or belittling 
the character or abilities of other per- 
sons who hold differing opinions from 
their own. Only when we understand 
one another and appreciate one an- 
other can the Spirit of God enter our 
hearts, draw us one to another, and 
bring about unity. 

Nowhere is this principle of con- 
sideration and love of one another more 
needed than in a discussion of gospel 
principles. The Lord has warned us 
not to preach tenets or opinions: 

"And of tenets thou shalt not talk, 
but thou shalt declare repentance and 
faith on the Savior, and remission of 
sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even 
the Holy Ghost." (D&C 19:31.) 

Tenets are the dogmas or principles 
generally accepted by a majority as 
true, whether those principles are 
factual or not. Thus we should not 
dispute with others about such matters, 
nor pursue discussions among ourselves 
about* such matters that can cause 
feelings to be hurt or cause disputations 
to arise. 

We should rather preach the first 
principles of the gospel, which are 
so necessary for our full growth and 
development. When we understand 
the basics or true fundamental princi- 
ples of the gospel, we will not be 
buffeted by the doctrines and beliefs 
of men that so often lead to quarrels 
and misunderstandings. That is why 
the Lord went on to advise us: 

"Behold, this is a great and the last 
commandment which I shall give you 
concerning this matter; for this shall 
suffice for thy daily walk, even unto 
the end of thy life. 

"And misery thou shalt receive if 
thou wilt slight these counsels, yea, 
even the destruction of thyself and 
property." (D&C 19:32-33.) 

We live in a world full of discord 
and disunity. We need not and must 
not become a party to that worldly way 
of living. Our role is that of peace- 
makers. As the Latter-day Saints of 
our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, we 
must "therefore, renounce war and 
proclaim peace, and seek diligently to 
turn the hearts of the children to their 
fathers, and the hearts of the fathers 
to the children." (D&C 98:16.) 

The need within the Church for a 
spirit of unity and loyalty and love 
is reflected in these words of the Savior 
from the Book of Mormon: 

". . . And there shall be no disputa- 

Improvement Era 

tions among you, as there have hitherto 
heen; neither shall there be disputa- 
tions among you concerning the points 
of my doctrine, as there have hitherto 

"For verily, verily I say unto you, he 
that hath the spirit of contention is not 
of me, but is of the devil, who is the 
father of contention, and he stirreth up 
the hearts of men to contend with 
anger, one with another. 

"Behold, this is not my doctrine, to 

stir up the hearts of men with anger, 
one against another; but this is my 
doctrine, that such things should be 
done away." (3 Ne. 11:28-30.) 

When we hear our voices rise in 
speaking with one another, when we 
feel our faces getting flushed and red, 
when our muscles tense and we get 
warm under the collar, these are dan- 
ger signals. It is time to repent and 
change whatever we are saying or 
doing. I plead for unity and considera : 

tion among us who claim to be sons 
and daughters of God. I pray for that 
love and affection which characterizes 
the true disciples of Jesus Christ. May 
God bless us all to know with such a 
surety of heart that this is the true 
church and kingdom of Jesus Christ, 
that we will have character enough to 
practice those principles which we 

I pray for this in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. O 

:■■■: ':":::. 

The Other Side of the Ship 

Elder Boyd K. Packer 

Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 

^.v ■>:■;■;<■■:. 

• Recently two unusual gatherings of 
young people have caught the attention 
of the world. At White Lake, New 
York, nearly half a million young 
people gathered. 

Later a similar gathering was held 
on the Isle of Wight. They came from 
all countries, from all levels of society. 

These meetings were billed as music 
festivals. Certainly they did not come 
to hear the music — they came to be 

These gatherings, so appealing to our 
youth, are unique in history, and they 
mean something. 

Some suppose that the youth re- 
sponded to political or philosophical 
motivation. It is not so. It would be 
a mistake to so conclude, even though 
they are deeply entangled in the politi- 
cal and social issues of today. 

Frantically youth clings to whatever 
social issue is foremost at the moment, 
not realizing perhaps that it is not so 
much the cause that ignites them; it 
is rather having a cause that satisfies 
their need. Neither is it an intel- 
lectual movement, although it has 
many of the attributes. Nor is it a 
cultural one, though they have de- 
veloped their own style of music, a 
vocabulary, art forms, and poetry. It 
is spiritual motivation that brings these 
young people together. 

They may not know it, but a whole 

generation of youth is athirst with an 
unquenched spiritual desire. As has 
been foretold: 

"Behold, the days come, saith the 
Lord God, that I will send a famine 
in the land, not a famine of bread, nor 
a thirst for water, but of hearing the 
words of the Lord: 

"And they shall wander from sea 
to sea, and from the north even to the 
east, they shall run to and fro to seek 
the word of the Lord, and shall not 
find it. 

"In that day shall the fair virgins 
and young men faint for thirst." (Amos 

Youth suffers from a lingering thirst 
that has become a drive. Though it 
gnaws within them, it is not physical. 
They want to know what it all means — 
they are seeking the true meaning of 
life. There is something missing from 
their lives, some vital substance that 
they have not tasted. 

Many of them unfortunately seek it 
in physical satisfaction. They smash 
down the boundaries of morality and 
wantonly indulge themselves in every 
manner conceivable to the limit of 
physical experience, seeking in physi- 
cal gratification some taste of life. 
They come away less satisfied than 
before, the thirst and the craving more 

Then many of them turn elsewhere, 

seeking to escape the futility in life. 
They turn to drugs and find for a 
moment the escape they seek. At last 
their spirits soar. They reach beyond 
themselves, erase all limitations, and 
taste for a moment, as they suppose, 
that which they have been seeking. 
But it is a synthetic, a wicked counter- 
feit, for they return to a depression 
worse than the one they left. 

Then they become players in the 
saddest of human tragedies. For, as they 
turn again to this release, they are not 
seeking what they sought before, but 
indulge to escape the consequences of 
each previous adventure with drugs. 
This is addiction! This is tragedy! This 
is slavery! When a remedy becomes 
worse than the disease, then we have 
found futility itself. 

If one of these young people would 
listen for a moment — listen seriously 
enough that I could speak from the 
depths of my soul — there are some 
things I would tell him. 

Why, he may first ask, do you appeal 
to me, the most criticized and uncom- 
fortable of all in society? That is easy 
to answer. 

First, you are right, you know, when 
you assess that most of society is in- 
terested only in immediate material 
success, too comfortable to really care, 
too preoccupied to listen to any signifi- 
cant message. 

December 1969 





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Because you are trying to change 
things, perhaps you will at least listen. 

We are trying to change things too. 
We have many thousands of young 
people, something like yourself, as- 
signed across the world to change 
people. But they must sift through 
literally thousands to find one who 
will listen — really listen. 

We appeal to you because you are 
young. Our message requires a change 
so monumental that few but youth 
have the courage for it. 

In your rebellion, so called, you have 
cut yourself loose from your moorings, 
perhaps even from family ties, and set 
adrift on the sea of life. Now you may 
be drifting on the right sea, you may 
even be in the right boat, but you 
might try fishing on the other side. 
Some others were fishing on the wrong 
side of the ship. 

"And he said unto them, Cast the 
net on the right side of the ship, and 
ye shall find. They cast therefore, and 
now they were not able to draw it for 
the multitude of fishes." (John 21:6.) 

When we mention that there is a 
spiritual answer to your need, I hope 
you don't dismiss it or ridicule the 
possibility. "Don't knock it till you've 
tried it" is sound counsel. If you 
haven't tried it yet, you are as yet no 
witness on the matter. Surely you have 
that much honesty. 

You may say you've been to church, 
that you've tried religion and not been 
satisfied. That is little wonder. It 
isn't in them all, you know, only a 
flavoring of it. The substance of it, the 
fullness of it can be found in only one 
place. Perhaps you have looked for 
it here, in that one place, and have not 
found it. And so I repeat, you might 
try fishing on the right side. 

No one can compel you to taste of 
this living water. It can come only 
when you consent. There are no con- 
scripts, only volunteers. 

If you are to find it, you must pay 
more, by a thousandfold, than ever 
you paid before, reach farther than you 
have ever reached, use more courage 
and self-discipline than you ever knew 
you had. But at the end of all that 
comes the promise: 

"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It 
shall come to pass that every soul who 
forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, 
and calleth on my name, and obeyeth 
my voice, and keepeth my command- 
ments, shall see my face and know 
that I am; 

"And that I am the true light that 
lighteth every man that cometh into 
the world." (D&C 93:1-2.) 

I must be plain also to say to you, 
my young friend, that when you come 
to know, it will be on his terms — not 
on yours. 

Improvement Era 

"Therefore," he has said, "sanctify 
yourselves that your minds become 
single to God, and the days will come 
that you shall see him; for he will un- 
veil his face unto you, and it shall be 
in his own time, and in his own way, 
and according to his own will." (D&C 
88:68. italics added.) 

The fact — the positive, irrefutable 
truth — is that what you seek, my young 
friend, exists. And when you find it, 
it will not take you out of the world. 
You will find a greater need to be in 
the mainstream of life facing the same 
issues that are so disturbing to you 
now, but you'll face them with a dif- 
ferent light. 

It will not require that you give up 

anything essential or fulfilling in life, 
whether it be physical, emotional, 
spiritual, or intellectual. You will be 
the same height, the same weight, 
you'll be under the necessity of eating 
to live and being sheltered. You'll have 
dislikes and likes, passions and desires. 
At first glance nothing will change at 
all, and yet positively everything will 

We bid you — our restless, drifting, 
seeking youth — to come, quench that 
spiritual thirst. 

The Lord has said: "Whosoever 
drinketh of . . . water shall thirst again: 

"But whosoever drinketh of the 
water that I shall give him shall never 
thirst; but the water that I shall give 

him shall be in him a well of water 
springing up into everlasting life." 
(John 4:13-14.) 

Oh, how we pray that as you drift, 
seeking everywhere, trying everything, 
that one day you will cast your net on 
the right side of the ship. 

I bear to you my witness, as one 
among those authorized to bear that 
witness, that God does live, Jesus is the 
Christ, this is his church, The Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He 
directs his church and ministers in the 
midst of his Saints. There is a prophet 
of God directing this work. Youth is 
needed to carry it on. We bid you to 
come, in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. Q 




'"... ■■■■, 

% ■ : ::: 

Temples Are Essential 

Eldred G. Smith 
Patriarch to the Church 




h ""'; 



' %.., 

! « ,:: 


:; : "" . 

'■;;;; ¥:s.:.:: : 

• We of The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints have been accused 
of being peculiar in many ways, one of 
them being that we build temples and 
restrict entrance to them to members of 
special standards. We are asked, "Why 
do you build temples? Why is a tem- 
ple different from other Church edi- 
fices? Why cannot anyone enter 
into the temple, like other Church 

In the time allotted to me I may not 
answer all these questions, but I want 
to show that temples are absolutely 
essential in the Church of Jesus Christ. 

Temples are more than just a gath- 
ering place for the Saints, or who 
might call themselves Saints. They 
are holy edifices where the Lord God 
can talk to his people through the 
leaders, the prophets of God, and make 
his will known concerning them. Also, 
temples are holy edifices wherein 
sacred saving ordinances may be per- 
formed in such manner, and by proper 
authority, as to be acceptable to God 
our Father in heaven. 

The Ark of the Covenant was so 
sacred that even the unauthorized were 
smitten with death who touched it, 
even to save it, as they thought, from 
falling to the ground. 

Today, such severe penalty seems 
unnecessary. If you will note from 
published pictures of the temple in- 
teriors, the rooms are filled with chairs 
for large groups. If the room is full of 
people performing a sacred ordinance, 
it stands to reason there just isn't room 
for the onlooker. 

The Lord said to Nicodemus, "Verily, 
verily, I say unto thee, Except a man 
be born of water and of the Spirit, he 
cannot enter into the kingdom of God." 
(John 3:5.) 

He instructed his apostles: "Go ye 
therefore, and teach all nations, bap- 
tizing them in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost." (Matt. 28:19.) He also said, 
"He that believeth and is baptized shall 
be saved; but he that believeth not 
shall be damned." (Mark 16:16.) 

Jesus Christ himself was baptized by 

John the Baptist. When John seemed 
reluctant to baptize Jesus, who was a 
sinless man, Jesus said, "Suffer it to be 
so now: for thus it becometh us to 
fulfil all righteousness." (Matt. 3:15.) 

If it was necessary for Jesus, a sin- 
less man, to be baptized, how much 
more important and necessary for all 
other mortals on this earth to be 
baptized. Jesus went to him to whom 
the authority to baptize had been given. 

Now what about all those who have 
not heard the teaching of Jesus, either 
in his day or since? Are they to be 
damned if they are not given the op- 
portunity of hearing of baptism? 

If God is just — and we know he is — 
then would not God be obligated to 
provide a way where all his children 
may hear the gospel plan and partake 
of his ordinances, regardless of when 
they lived upon the earth? 

Peter tells us that between the cruci- 
fixion and the resurrection of Jesus, he 
"went and preached unto the spirits in 
prison; Which sometime were dis- 
obedient, when once the longsuffering 

December 1969 



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of God waited in the days of Noah. . . ." 
(1 Pet. 3:19-20.) Peter also declared: 
"For for this cause was the gospel 
preached also to them that are dead, 
that they might be judged according to 
men in the flesh, but live according 
to God in the spirit." (I Pet. 4:6.) 

The Savior established his organiza- 
tion on the earth during his ministry. 
He preached to the disemhodied spirits 
after his crucifixion.. He established 
his organization on this continent 
among the Nephites after his resurrec- 
tion. I think we can reasonably assume 
he also established his organization in 
the spirit world so the teaching of his 
gospel can be made known to all man- 
kind after death, if not during this 
lifetime. The ordinances of the gospel, 
however, must be performed on the 
earth. Hence, there must needs be a 
vicarious work done on the earth for 
those who have departed this life with- 
out such opportunities. 

The entire life, crucifixion, and 
resurrection was a vicarious mission of 
our Savior. Then is it not right that 
he should ask us to be Saviors to our 
fellowmen, to perform, vicariously, 
saving ordinances for our ancestors? 

The apostle Paul clinched his point 
to the Corinthians to prove to them the 
reality of the resurrection by asking 
them: "Else what shall they do which 
are baptized for the dead, if the dead 
rise not at all?" (1 Cor. 15:29.) 

There is only one answer to this 
passage of scripture — a vicarious work 
of baptism for the dead was performed 
in those days. 

In this dispensation the Lord re- 
vealed the following to the Prophet 
Joseph Smith: 

"For there is not a place found on 
earth that he may come to and restore 
again that which was lost unto you, or 
which he hath taken away, even the 
fulness of the priesthood. 

"For a baptismal font there is not 
upon the earth, that they, my saints, 
may be baptized for those who are 
dead — 

"For this ordinance belongeth to my 
house, and cannot be acceptable to me, 
only in the days of your poverty, where- 
in ye are not able to build a house unto 
me." (D&C 124:28-30.) 

Then the Lord gave a commandment 
to build a temple, or a house of the 
Lord, and added: . 

"For it is ordained that in Zion, and 
in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those 
places which I have appointed for 
refuge, shall be the places for your 
baptisms for your dead. 

"And again, verily I say unto you, 
how shall your washings be acceptable 
unto me, except ye perform them in a 
house which you have built to my 

"For, for this cause I commanded 
Moses that he should build a taber- 
nacle, that they should bear it with 
them in the wilderness, and to build 
a house in the land of promise, that 
those ordinances might be revealed 
which had been hid from before the 
world was. 

"Therefore, verily I say unto you, 
that your anointings, and your wash- 
ings, and your baptisms for the dead, 
. . . and for the glory, honor, and 
endowment of all her municipals, are 
ordained by the ordinance of my holy 
house, which my people are always 
commanded to build unto my holy 
name." (D&C 124:36-39.) 

In accordance with commandment, 
the temple in Kirtland was built in 
which the keys to the sealing bless- 
ings were revealed. The keys of the 
gathering of Israel were restored. The 
promise made by Malachi was fulfilled, 
that Elijah the Prophet would come 
"before the coming of the great and 
dreadful day of the Lord: 

"And he shall turn the heart of the 
fathers to the children, and the heart of 
the children to, their fathers, lest I 
come and smite the earth with a 
curse." (Mai. 4:5-6.) 

I would like to here thank the Re- 
organized Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter Day Saints for taking good care 
of that building. It has fulfilled its 
original purpose, and the last time I 
saw it I was pleased with its good 

Land in Independence, Missouri, has 
been dedicated for a temple to be built 
sometime in the future, and I would 
like to thank those who are taking good 
care of that property. The Lord bless 
them for so doing. 

Then the temple in Nauvoo was 
built with a baptismal font and special 
rooms for endowments and sealings, 
for both the living and the dead. This 
building was destroyed, but since then 
there have been 13 temples built, all 
active at present, with three more now 
getting started in construction. Many 
more will follow. 

In addition to the baptisms for the 
dead, the sealing ordinances of celes- 
tial marriage for the living and the 
dead are performed in these temples. 

I wish some of our men could see 
how readily the tears well up in the 
eyes of some of the women when I ask 
about their husbands. Some say, "He's 
not a member." Some say, "He isn't 
active" or "doesn't hold the Mel- 
chizedek Priesthood." Some say. "He's 
an elder, but just hasn't felt he is 
ready yet." 

Many men spend large sums of 
money, even buy a special home or a 
car, just to make their wives happy; but 
the greatest happiness that could come 

Improvement Era 

to either or both of them would be to 
so live as to be worthy to be sealed 
together as husband and wife for all 
eternity. There is no exaltation without 
the celestial sealing of marriage. This 

must be done in the temple of God, 
either while living or vicariously after 
death. The home is the only eternal 
organization. These are the saving 
ordinances that can be performed only 

in a temple, built and dedicated unto 
the Lord. Thus it is absolutely essential 
to build temples. 

I so testify in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. O 

• Fifty years ago my father was ap- 
proached by our bishop as to the pros- 
pect of one of his sons going on a 
mission. After a dignified period of 
conversation, my father agreed to the 
proposition, and I was duly called. 

I remember that I wondered how my 
father could support a missionary. We 
were poor, income from his business 
was spotty and inadequate to meet the 
ordinary expenses, yet he did not hesi- 
tate to tell the bishop that he would 
support me. 

The first seven months went smooth- 
ly enough. I was working without 
purse or scrip for the first four months 
and required no more than $5.00 per 
month for incidentals. The next three 
months cost me about $40.00 per 
month. And then Father, caught in 
the inflation of 1920, was unable 
further to meet the cost of the mission. 
The fact that I stayed on the mission 
for 26 more months without help from 
home has been miraculous to me — not 
that I found money from miraculous 
sources or, like my maternal great- 
grandfather, opened my purse and there 
it was as needed — none of that. The 
way opened by perfectly natural means, 
and there was barely sufficient to meet 
the needs of the moment. 

During that time, none of my fam- 
ily expected nor received any help or 
encouragement from the ward officials, 
stake officials, or from the Church. 

I was ordained a seventy just before 
departing, but I didn't receive even a 

Christmas card from my new quorum 
for the 33 months I was away. The 
elders quorum to which I had belonged 
showed no interest in me either, al- 
though I had been quite active in the 
quorum. I didn't expect any attention 
from either quorum, and I suspect the 
quorum did not expect to do anything 
for me. My quorum in those days 
did not seem to recognize the im- 
portance of being of help to its mem- 
bers. To them it was not what can the 
quorum do for you, but what can you 
do for the quorum. We lived for the 
organization and not for the members. 

Not so today. Every quorum of the 
priesthood is alert to the needs of its 
members. Children of these members 
may go on missions. They know that 
they will be supported. No worthy 
member in the stakes of North America 
when ready for a mission will be re- 
fused. In their prosperity the quorums 
can easily take up the slack for those 
unable to bear the complete cost of the 
mission. They will be helped by their 
united brethren, and the burden is 

It has not been so in the full-time 
missions outside of the United States. 
There, general economic depressions 
and the ravages of two great wars have 
taken an immense toll on the economic 
life of the people. Men and women 
of the Church in those nations have 
been unable to earn sufficient to send 
their children, with but few exceptions. 
The result has been that the young 

men and women of these nations, while 
worthy and anxious to go, have been 
unable to do so. 

This has caused a good deal of envy 
of their more affluent American mis- 
sionaries, and it has caused some dis- 
couragement among them. To many 
of them it has appeared that the choice 
fruits of the gospel are not to be en- 
joyed, because of where they live. More 
serious has been the fact that these 
young people are the best possible mis- 
sionary prospects for their countries. 
They know the language, the traditions, 
the mores of the people. They are the 
potential leaders of the Church in 
their lands. 

There is a tendency on the part of 
people of other nations to think of us 
as an American church. When the mis- 
sionaries are native born, people can 
better understand the universal nature 
of the Church. Our members then see 
that the responsibility becomes theirs 
as much as ours, and this will result in 
greater effort on their part. 

Several years ago, the body of seven- 
ties of the Church undertook to assist 
the young men and women in foreign 
lands. From among the seventies was 
raised a sum of money to assist these 
prospective missionaries. On the basis 
of the missionary and his family's doing 
all they are able to do, the seventies 
give assistance for the remainder. 

I am happy to report to the seven- 
ties this afternoon that to date the 
number of missionaries assisted has 

December 1969 


been more than 600 in number. Cur- 
rently the number in the field is 275. 
In no mission has a worthy applicant 
been refused. We have had assistance 
from elders quorums, high priests quo- 
rums, and from individuals not at- 
tached to any quorum. One of the 
large contributions comes from a man 
not a Church member. We should like- 
to let all these people know that their 
contributions are of material assistance 
in the project. 

It is difficult for many seventies to 
personally go on fulltime missions. 
They are rearing families and must 
support them. By supporting these 
young men and women in the missions, 
they in a sense project themselves into 
the mission field and thus discharge a 
part of their responsibility. 

Now in lands all over the earth our 
young men and women look forward 
to being able to become missionaries. 
On their return home they become the 
leaders in branches and districts. They 
are our future investment in stake 
presidents and bishops for stakes yet 

The quorums of seventy with a com- 
paratively small membership of 23,000 
may know that they are not laboring 
in vain. They are building a house to 
the Lord, and the fruits of their effort 

will continue to rain down blessings 
on their heads. 

We constantly remember, as charged 
in the Doctrine and Covenants, that 
"the Seventy are also called to preach 
the gospel, and to be especial witnesses 
unto the Gentiles and in all the world 
— thus differing from other officers in 
the church in the duties of their call- 
ing." (D&C 107:25.) 

Therefore, to further missionary work 
is what we should be doing. We must 
enlarge our efforts to the end that the 
whole world will hear the gospel and 
that those who are to come out of the 
world into the fold of the Lord Jesus 
Christ will come. 

We realize too that the "whole 
world" is here as well as in the remote 
corners of the land mass of Eurasia. 
The stake missions are our most fertile 
sources of converts. Where our people 
are gathered, where we have wards and 
stakes, where we have buildings and 
facilities, is our best opportunity — 
there also is the world. By our merely 
living the principles of the gospel, 
people cannot help seeing the light 
shining on the hilltop, and seeing will 
want to partake of the good fruit of the 
gospel that it illuminates. For those 
whose heads are down, if we live as we 
should, all we need to do is to say to 

them, "Look up, see! The light shines 
for you." Earnest effort to this end 
will bring greater results. 

The seventies quorums are aware 
that the field to be harvested is very 
large and that the work must be pur- 
sued with great vigor while the day 
lasts. Our constant prayer is to be 
anxiously engaged in carrying forth the 
missionary work and to stand true to 
the First Presidency and the Twelve as 
they direct us and point the way we 
should go. This great work is under the 
divine guidance of God the Eternal 
Father, who is a living, exalted being 
of flesh and bone — not the flesh and 
bone that you and I know, but resur- 
rected, glorified flesh and bone filled 
with light. Indescribable is his person. 
There are not words to picture that 
glory; it is not earthly — it is heavenly. 

His Son is like him. Through the 
Son of God, Jesus Christ, we have hope 
that eventually we can become like 
them. We must learn to know them, 
and knowing them we may share the 
truth announced by the Lord himself 
that to know them is to have eternal 
life. This church is their earthly king- 
dom, and President David O. McKay 
is the prophet through whom they 
speak in our day. This I witness in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. O 

• My brothers and sisters, when con- 
sidering the history of the various 
organizations of the Church, I am re- 
minded of the statement by David 
"Large streams from little fountains 

Tall oaks from little acorns grow." 

No one society or no one organiza- 
tion has sprung at once into full, 

perfect maturity. Most good and great 
thoughts and things are a growth, not 
a sudden perfection, and so it was with 
the Young Women's Mutual Improve- 
ment Association. This being their 
centennial year, it seems appropriate 
at this conference to recognize this im- 
portant young women's organization 
and program. 

Visualize the setting existing when 

President Brigham Young established 
the beginning organization, called in 
those days the Retrenchment Society. 
He was disturbed about his daughters' 
somewhat worldly interests and actions. 
He worried about their spiritual and 
intellectual development and was con- 
cerned over the growing trend to- 
ward materialism, commercialism, and 
sophistication among the younger 


Improvement Era 

Church members. His daughters seemed 
to reflect the general trend he had 
observed among the young women in 
Zion, whose main interests were young 
men, socials, theater, ice skating, sleigh 
and hay rides, picnics, and clothes. 

As President of the Church and a 
former governor of the Territory of 
Deseret, Brigham Young felt person- 
ally responsible for the moral and so- 
cial welfare of all the residents of the 

The young men did not seem to be 
such an immediate problem, as many 
were pursuing higher education and 
becoming well versed in the scriptures 
and preparing for missions. Others 
were kept busy in agricultural and 
industrial pursuits — building homes, 
stores, ward houses, roads, and working 
on the construction of the temple. 

The family home required help from 
the young women, with miscellaneous 
household tasks and caring for the 

President Young's thoughts turned 
to his own daughters, knowing their 
needs for improved womanly virtues 
and their qualifications for a more 
complete and abundant life. 

He asked Sister Eliza R. Snow to 
notify all his family to assemble in the 
Lion House, as he had important mat- 
ters to present to them. The scene in 
the quaint parlor was a memorable one. 
Following the evening family prayer, 
President Young dismissed his sons and 
younger daughters, looked around at 
the lovely faces of his older daughters, 
and said: "All Israel are looking to my 
family and watching the example set 
by my . . . children. For this reason I 
desire to organize my own family first 
into a society for the promotion of 
habits of order, thrift, industry, and 
charity: and, above all things, I desire 
them to retrench from their extrava- 
gance in dress ... in your speech, . . . 
wherein you have been guilty of silly 
. . . speeches and light-mindedness of 
thought. Retrench in everything that 
is bad and worthless, and improve in 
everything that is good and beautiful." 
(Susa Young Gates, History of the 
Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement 
Association, pp. 8-9.) 

The word retrench may to this 
generation sound rather archaic and 
outmoded. The dictionary defines re- 
trench: to cut down, reduce or dimin- 
ish, curtail, to economize. 

The last sentence of the quotation 
is thus made more meaningful. "Re- 
trench in everything that is bad and 
worthless, and improve in everything 
that is good and beautiful." 

With mixed emotions, the daugh- 
ters of Brigham Young accepted the 
challenge he had given them. Eliza R. 
Snow r recorded his words and wrote 

December 1969 

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the subsequent resolutions to guide the 
organization. She knew that as a 
prophet of God he had organized the 
Retrenchment Society through divine 
inspiration, not just for his own family, 
but for the benefit and blessing of all 
young ladies of the Church. 

Soon they caught the spirit and be- 
came involved in striving to be "worthy 
of imitation." Before a year had gone 
by, young ladies all over the valley 
were holding meetings in parlors, 
schools, and ward houses. 

As Brigham Young watched the Re- 
trenchment Society bless every Mormon 
community, he became concerned about 
the general welfare of the young men 
of the Church, especially during the 
winter months when time hung more 
heavily on their hands. In those early 
days the social structure was simple. 
There was very little in the way of 
sports or commercial amusement, and 
he felt the young men also needed a 
program of involvement. Junius F. 
Wells was given the assignment to or- 
ganize societies among the young men 
of the Church for their mutual im- 
provement. This led to the organiza- 
tion of the Young Men's Mutual 
Improvement Association. The Re- 
trenchment Society thereafter, and un- 
til recent years, became known as the 
Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement 

Brigham Young explained: "Ours is 
a religion of improvement; it is not 
contracted and confined, but is calcu- 
lated to expand the minds of the 
children of men and lead them up into 
the state of intelligence that will be 
an honor to our being." (journal of 
Discourses, Vol. 10, p. 290.) 

What he said a century ago is so 
applicable to the young people of the 
Church today. With this in mind, I 
would like to direct some thoughts to 
our youth. 

As children of promise, do not choose 
to be common; rather, choose to excel. 
There is no prominent place in the 
society of men and women today for 
the mediocre. Strive for perfection and 
you will attain perfection in many 
areas and approach it in others. You 
have a rich heritage. Be unafraid to 
think and act in accordance with gos- , 
pel principles, and enjoy the benefits 
and blessings of it as you fulfill on 
earth the full measure of your creation 
as a child of God. 

Set goals in life and achieve them. 

Don't be quitters or failures; I be- 
lieve the current word is "losers." 
Rather, be steadfast in attaining righ- 
teous, soul-satisfying goals. 

Failure weakens one's incentive, pur- 
pose, and character, just as success 
strengthens these desirable attributes. 
The adage "Nothing succeeds like suc- 

cess" is true. Keep the aura of success 
and achievement with you. 

Opportunities come to those who are 
better prepared by knowledge, train- 
ing, desire, and are firm in determining 
what they want to do and become. 

The Lord Jesus Christ is directing 
his church here on earth; therefore, the 
high standards for Mormon youth will 
never change. The world may lower 
its standards, but the Church can never 
do so, because God has revealed the 
way all faithful members should live. 

Do not place man's science, . his 
philosophies or sophistries above or on 
an equal plane with the truths revealed 
of God. The philosophy of man can 
rise no higher than the mind of man 
who created it. True philosophy is 
found only in the gospel of Christ. It 
is the Lord's way of life for mankind. 
The apostle Paul counseled: "Be not 
deceived; God is not mocked; for what- 
soever a man soweth, that shall he 
also reap." (Gal. 6:7.) 

H. S. Johnson expressed it in these 
words: "Great thoughts alone change 
men and women. By the great thoughts 
of Jesus, men and women, for some 
two thousand years, have been changed 
from folly to the ways of wisdom, from 
baseness to wholesomeness, from 
cruelty to mercifulness, from sin to 

My young brothers and sisters, seek 
for the knowledge and faith that saves. 
Choose your companions well, and be 
a person sought out by others as a 
proper companion. Hold high the 
standards and ideals of the gospel. Do 
not follow the crowd; they can be 
wrong and often are. Do not waver or 
settle for anything less than you are 
worthy and entitled to receive. To 
compromise is to give up something — 
and to give up something is to lose. 

Grow spiritually, mentally, and 
physically into the full stature of in- 
telligent youth; cultivate desires for 
beneficial service to mankind in what- 
ever life's activities you choose to 

You are living in a modern world. 
You should learn how to live in the 
presence of these modern conditions 
and still express a wholesome, righteous 
response to them. 

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., 
warned the membership of the Church: 
"If there was a time in our history 
when we must be on guard against the 
insidious influences and propaganda 
of the churches of the world, and the 
atheists of the world, that time is 

The eyes of the world are more and 
more upon the Church. We are be- 
coming better known, and because of 
our high standards, more is expected of 
us. We should live as people expect 

us as Church members to live. This 
does not mean giving up our initiative 
and living only to be seen of men, but 
to live as we know we should live and 
as our Heavenly Father wants us to 
live. Here is his admonition: "Verily, 
I say unto you all: Arise and shine 
forth, that thy light may be a standard 
for the nations." (D&C 115:5.) 

Cultivating a strong testimony of 
the gospel will develop a feeling of 
self-worth that will cause one to be 
humble and meek and yet not subject 
to the domination of evil, designing 
persons or institutions. 

Resist temptation and keep your- 
selves free from sin and its sorrows. 
Third Nephi records Jesus' admonition 
to his followers: "Behold, verily . . . 
I say unto you, ye must watch and 
pray always lest ye enter into tempta- 
tion; for Satan desireth to have you, 
that he may sift you as wheat." (3 Ne. 

But the Lord promises: "Be faithful 
unto the end, and lo, I am with you. 
These words are not of man nor of 
men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, 
your redeemer, by the will of the 
Father." (D&C 31:13.) 

I have seen the heartaches and sor- 
rows of persons who have sinned and 
lost membership in the Church. The 
Lord, however, is merciful and forgiv- 
ing and rejoices in the truly repentant 
soul. I plead with you young people of 
the Church to avoid the snares and 
pitfalls of sin that lead to one's unhap- 
piness and so often to the destruction 
of everything that is pure, noble, and 
good in life. 

It is incumbent upon each of us to 
see the full picture of God's complete 
plan for his children — one's preexis- 
tence, mortality, and immortality and 
eternal life. Each should chart his 
life's course according to gospel prin- 
ciples and standards. 

It is the beginning of the second 
century of the Young Women's Mu- 
tual Improvement Association. One 
hundred years ago it was organized in 
one family, one community, one terri- 
tory, and one country. Today it has 
a membership of approximately 360,000 
young women and is organized on 
nearly every continent in the world. 

Many teachers and leaders are in- 
volved in initiating and directing the 
best possible programs for the youth 
of the Church. Times have changed, 
the programs have changed, but the 
original purposes and principles have 
not, nor will they ever change until a 
higher order is revealed. 

The Young Women's Mutual Im- 
provement Association supports and 
enhances the beautiful ideal of family 
life. It provides for young women 
abundant and wholesome social and 


Improvement Era 



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December 1969 

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recreational experiences. It fosters 
friendships. It directs toward worth- 
while goals. It promotes the mastery 
of good habits. It develops talents 
and intelligence. It provides the op- 
portunity for members to increase their 
knowledge of and appreciation for the 
beauties and wonders of the world 
around them. It teaches the satisfac- 
tion of service to others. It deepens 
testimonies that God is their Father, 
that Jesus Christ is his Son, and that 
the Presidents of the Church are 
prophets of God. 

And now to you dedicated parents, 
teachers, and leaders: Continue your 
interest and service to youth. Go the 
extra mile — go beyond the class — go 
beyond the scheduled activities. Listen 
to them and learn to know their prob- 
lems. Let them know you love them 
and will do all in your power to 
strengthen them. They are the elect 
of God's children. 

The family home evening stressed by 
Church leaders today is an important 
time and place to teach these noble 
concepts to youth. 

Remember, MIA leaders, youth come 
to you at a most critical period of their 
lives. They are wavering between child- 
hood ideals and a maturity that comes 
with adulthood. 

There are movies and television 
programs with poor standards that 
stress violence and place improper 
emphasis on sex. Perhaps these things 
are difficult to abolish; therefore, you 
must succeed in teaching chastity as a 
way of life, despite the existence of 
these and other temptations to which 
youth are subjected. Modern styles 
and immodesty of dress certainly are 
contributing factors to evil. 

Develop within youth a desire to 
obtain the blessings promised to the 

Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, 

"Preach unto them repentance, and 
faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach 
them to humble themselves and to 
be meek and lowly in heart; teach 
them to withstand every temptation 
of the devil. . . . 

"Teach them to never be weary of 

good works, ... for such shall find 
rest to their souls." (Al. 37:33-34.) 

Tryon Edwards hit a key note when 
he said, "People never improve unless 
they look to some standard of example 
higher and better than themselves." 

Exemplary parents and leaders be- 
come a stabilizing influence for good 
and righteousness in the lives of youth. 

The Young Women's and Young 
Men's Mutual Improvement Associa- 
tions have blessed every boy and girl, 
every leader, every family, every com- 
munity touched by their influence; 
and all their accomplishments glorify 
our Father in heaven, for this is his 
plan that his children might also be 

I pray the good Lord will bless these 
two splendid youth organizations and 
bless us leaders that we will be inter- 
ested in the organizations and the 
welfare of youth and do all within 
our power to strengthen their faith and 
their testimonies so that their lives will 
be in harmony with the divine will. 
This I pray humbly in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. O 


Saturday morning session, October 4, 1969 

The Crucible 
of Adversity and Affliction 

.: '■■■ 


Marion G. Romney 
Of the Council of the Twelve 

' ■ : \ *' M 

• President McKay, other members of 
the General Authorities, brothers and 
sisters, and listeners throughout the 

I have selected as the subject of my 
remarks today "The Crucible of Adver- 
sity and Affliction," something with 
which we are all well acquainted. My 
purpose is to give comfort and courage 
to the weary and heavy-laden, among 
whom we all, at times, find place. 

Latter-day Saints know that much of 
pain and suffering would be avoided 
if the people would accept and follow 
the Savior. Our mission, as a church, 

is to bring people to a knowledge of 
Christ and thus avoid all unnecessary 
suffering. We are aware, however, 
that should all men accept and live 
his teachings, adversity and affliction 
would still abound because, in the 
words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
"Men have to suffer that they may 
come upon Mount Zion and be exalted 
above the heavens." (Documentary 
History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 556.) 
This does not mean that we crave 
suffering. We avoid all we can. 
However, we now know, and we all 
knew when we elected to come into 

mortality, that we would here be 
proved in the crucible of adversity and 

As our Heavenly Father, in that 
great pre-earth council referred to here 
this morning by President Tanner, 
"stood in the midst of" us, his spirit 
children, and announced his plan for 
bringing "to pass" our "immortality 
and eternal life" (Moses 1:39), he said, 
". . . We will go down, . . . and . . . 
make an earth whereon these may 

"And we will prove them ... to 
see if they will do all things whatso- 


Improvement Era 

ever the Lord their God shall command 
them." (Abr. 3:24-25.) 

The Prophet Joseph Smith said that 
"the organization of the spiritual and 
heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and 
heavenly beings . . . were . . . voluntar- 
ily subscribed to in their heavenly 
estate by themselves." (DHC, Vol. 6, 
p. 51.) 

The Father's plan for proving his 
children did not exempt the Savior 
himself. The suffering he undertook to 
endure, and which he did endure, 
equaled the combined suffering of all 
men. Eighteen hundred years after 
he had endured it, he spoke of it as 
being so intense that it "caused myself, 
even God, the greatest of all, to trem- 
ble because of pain, and to bleed at 
every pore, and to suffer both body 
and spirit — and would that I might 
not drink the bitter cup, and shrink — 

"Nevertheless, [he concluded,] glory 
be to the Father, and I partook and 
finished my preparations unto the 
children of men." (D&C 19:18-19.) 

President Brigham Young pointed 
out that the intensity of Christ's suf- 
fering was induced by the withdrawal 
from him of the Father's Spirit. And 
I quote from Brother Young: 

". . . at the very moment . . . when 
the crisis came . . .the Father withdrew 
. . . His Spirit, and cast a vail over 
him. That is what made him sweat 
blood. ... he then plead with the 
Father not to forsake him. 'No,' says the 
Father 'you must have your trials, as 
well as others.' " (Journal of Dis- 
courses, Vol. 3, p. 206.) 

The severity of the suffering incident 
to the withdrawal of the Father's 
Spirit is intimated in the Lord's state- 
ment, through the Prophet, to Martin 
Harris, in which he said: 

". . . repent . . . lest you suffer these 
punishments of which I have spoken, 
of which in the smallest, yea, even in 
the least degree you have tasted at the 
time I withdrew my Spirit." (D&C 

Fortunately, we need not endure such 
suffering because Jesus endured it for 
us, provided, of course, that we bring 
ourselves, through righteous living, 
within the reach of his atoning sac- 

However, just as Jesus had to endure 
affliction to prove himself, so must 
all men endure affliction to prove 

"Abel was slain for his righteous- 
ness. . . . Abraham . . . was laid upon 
the iron bedstead for slaughter; and 
. . . cast into the fire. . . . Moses . . . 
was driven from his country and 
kindred. Elijah had to flee his coun-' 
try. . . . Daniel was cast into a den 
of lions: Micah was fed on the bread 
of affliction; and Jeremiah was cast 

into the filthy hole under the 
Temple. . . . 

". . . all the Saints . . . prophets and 
apostles, have had to come up through 
great tribulation. . . ." (Teachings of 
the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1938 ed., 
pp. 260-61.) 

From his own experiences, the 
Prophet Joseph was eminently quali- 
fied to talk about affliction, and this 
he most eloquently did. 

Writing from Liberty Jail in March 
1839, he revealed something concern- 
ing the tribulations then being endured 
by him and his associates. 

". . . we have been taken prisoners 
charged falsely with every kind of evil, 
and thrown into prison, enclosed with 
strong walls, surrounded with a strong 
guard, who continually watch day and 
night as indefatigable as the devil. . . . 

". . . we are compelled to hear noth- 
ing but blasphemous oaths, and witness 
a scene of blasphemy, and drunken- 
ness and hypocrisy, and debaucheries 
of every description." (DHC, Vol. 3, 
p. 290.) 

But even as he protested these 
atrocities, his soul expanded as he en- 
dured them. To the Saints — who them- 
selves (at that time some 12 to 15 
thousand of them) were being ravished 
and plundered, robbed and driven from 
their homes, in the dead of winter — 
he said: ". . . our circumstances are 
calculated to awaken our spirits to a 
sacred remembrance of everything, and 
we think that yours are also, and that 
nothing . . . can separate us from the 
love of God and fellowship one with 
another; and that every species of 
wickedness and cruelty practiced upon 
us will only tend to bind our hearts 
together and seal them together in 
love. . . ." (DHC, Vol. 3, p. 290.) 

A little later on in his letter he added 

"And now, beloved brethren, we say 
unto you, that inasmuch as God hath 
said that He would have a tried people, 
that He would purge them as gold, now 
we think that this time He has chosen 
His own crucible, wherein we have 
been tried; and we think if we get 
through with any degree of safety, and 
shall have kept the faith, that it will 
be a sign to this generation, altogether 
sufficient to leave them without excuse; 
and we think also, it will be a trial of 
our faith equal to that of Abraham, 
and that the ancients will not have 
whereof to boast over us in the day of 
judgment, as being called to pass 
through heavier afflictions. . . ." (DHC. 
Vol. 3, p. 294.) 

And then, speaking for himself and 
his fellow prisoners, he said: ". . . in 
His Almighty name we are determined 
to endure tribulation as good soldiers 
unto the end." (DHC, Vol. 3, p. 297.) 

And counseling the Saints to do like- 
wise, he said: ". . . let thy bowels . . . 
be full of charity towards all men. . . ." 
(DHC, Vol. 3, p. 300.) 

This admonition, considered in light 
of the circumstances under which it 
was given, seems to me to almost equal 
the Master's statement from the cross: 
"Father, forgive them; for they know 
not what they do." (Luke 23:34.) 

The Prophet's soul never could have 
reached these heights without endur- 
ing well the tribulations and afflictions 
heaped upon him. 

President Brigham Young is quoted 
as observing that the Prophet was more 
perfect in 38 years, with the severe 
tribulation through which he passed, 
than he would have been in a thou- 
sand years without it. (Truman G. 
Madsen, Eternal Man [Deseret Book 
Company, 1966], p. 61.) 

The Prophet's appreciation and 
gratitude for the kindness of a friend, 
the "pure love of Christ" which filled 
his soul, and the assurance given him 
by the Lord, he expressed in the follow- 
ing passage. (As I read it, note how it 
reveals the purity of his heart, the 
tenderness of his spirit, and the nobility 
of his soul.) 

". . . those who have not been en- 
closed in the walls of prison without 
cause or provocation, can have but 
little idea how sweet the voice of a 
friend is; one token of friendship from 
any source whatever awakens and calls 
into action every sympathetic feeling; 
it brings up in an instant everything 
that is passed; it seizes the present with 
the avidity of lightning; it grasps after 
the future with the fierceness of a tiger; 
it moves the mind backward and for- 
ward, from one thing to another, until 
finally all enmity, malice and hatred, 
and past differences, misunderstand- 
ings and mismanagements are slain 
victorious at the feet of hope; and 
when the heart is sufficiently contrite, 
then the voice of inspiration steals 
along and whispers, [My son, peace be 
unto thy soul; thine adversity and 
thine afflictions shall be but a small 
moment; and then if thou endure it 
well, God shall exalt thee on high. 
. . .]" (DHC, Vol. 3, p. 293.) 

No wonder the Lord could say to 
him, as he did, ". . . I- seal upon you 
your exaltation, and prepare a throne 
for you in the kingdom of my Father, 
with Abraham your father. 

"Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, 
and will forgive all your sins; I have 
seen your sacrifices in obedience to 
that which I have told you. . . ." (D&C 

Now, as I noted in the beginning, my 
desire is to comfort and encourage and 
inspire all you faithful, humble people 
who are enduring, with patience and 

December 1969 







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loneliness, pain, sorrow, and at times 
almost despair; you who languish in 
hospitals and nursing homes, and all 
you other shut-ins; you who mourn the 
loss of loved ones by death or trans- 
gression; you who are experiencing 
diminution of strength in mind and 
body. In sympathy and love I say to 
you and all the rest of us who are being 
tried in the crucible of adversity and 
affliction: Take courage; revive your 
spirits and strengthen your faith. In 
these lessons so impressively taught in 
precept and example by our great 
exemplar, Jesus Christ, and his Prophet 
of the restoration, Joseph Smith, we 
have ample inspiration for comfort and 
for hope. 

If we can bear our afflictions with 
the understanding, faith, and courage, 
and in the spirit in which they bore 
theirs, we shall be strengthened and 
comforted in many ways. We shall be 
spared the torment which accompanies 
the mistaken idea that all suffering 
comes as chastisement for transgres- 
sion. We shall be comforted by the 
knowledge that we are not enduring, 
nor will we be required to endure, the 
suffering of the wicked who are to 
"be cast out into outer darkness [where] 
there shall be weeping, and wailing, 
and gnashing of teeth." (Al. 40:13.) 

We can draw assurance from the 
Lord's promise that "he that is faithful 
in tribulation, the reward of the same 
is greater in the kingdom of heaven. 

"Ye cannot behold with your natural 
eyes, for the present time, [he said,] 
the design of your God concerning 
those things which shall come here- 
after, and the glory which shall follow 
much tribulation. 

"For after much tribulation come the 
blessings. . . ." (D&C 58:2-4.) 

We can experience what Paul was 
expressing in his epistle to the Romans, 
when he said: 

"Therefore being justified by faith, 
we have peace with God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ: 

"By whom also we have access by 
faith into this grace wherein we stand, 
and rejoice in hope of the glory of 

"And not only so, but we glory in 
tribulations also: knowing that tribula- 
tion worketh patience; 

"And patience, experience; and ex- 
perience, hope: 

"And hope maketh not ashamed; be- 
cause the love of God is shed abroad in 
our hearts by the Holy Ghost which 
is given unto us." (Rom. 5:1-5.) 

In conclusion, I testify to the truth- 
fulness of these things. They are part 
and parcel of the restored gospel of 
Jesus Christ. I know they are true. I 
have read and been impressed by the 
testimony of others. Paul, for example, 
having thrice sought the Lord to re- 

Improvement Era 

move "a thorn in the flesh," was an- 
swered: "My grace is sufficient for thee: 
for my strength is made perfect in 
weakness." Then Paul answered: "Most 
gladly therefore will I rather glory in 
my infirmities, that the power of Christ 
may rest upon me. 

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmi- 
ties, in reproaches, in necessities, in 
persecutions, in distresses for Christ's 
sake: for when I am weak, then am I 

strong." (2 Cor. 12:9-10.) 

Not only have I been impressed by 
the testimonies of others; I have been 
eyewitness to the operation of these 
principles in the lives of my own 
acquaintances. I have seen the remorse 
and despair in the lives of men who, in 
the hour of trial, have cursed God and 
died spiritually. And I have seen people 
rise to great heights from what seemed 
to be unbearable burdens. 

Finally, I have sought the Lord in 
my own extremities and learned for 
myself that my soul has made its great- 
est growth as I have been driven to my 
knees by adversity and affliction. 

To these things I bear solemn wit- 
ness in the name of Jesus Christ, our 
beloved Savior, and in his name I in- 
voke a comforting and sustaining bless- 
ing upon each of you. In the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. Q 

S 7 

Godless Forces Threaten Us 

Ezra Taft Benson 
Of the Council of the Twelve 

• My brethren and sisters, seen and 
unseen, godless forces threaten us of 
the free world. My text is from Paul's 
timely admonition: 

"Put on the whole armour of God, 
that ye may be able to stand against 
the wiles of the devil. 

"For we wrestle not against flesh 
and blood, but against principalities, 
against powers, against the rulers of the 
darkness of this world, against spiritual 
wickedness in high places." (Eph. 

A modern-day prophet has said, ". . . 
when acts and schemes are manifestly 
contrary to the revealed word of the 
Lord, we feel justified in warning 
people against them. We may be 
charitable and forbearing to the sinner, 
but must condemn the sin. . . ." (David 
O. McKay, quoted in Statements on 
Communism and the Constitution of 
the United States [Deseret Book, 

Correspondence and the printed 
word, crossing my desk daily, proclaim 
the deep concern and agonizing fear of 
alert people, especially concerned par- 
ents, in my own and other Christian 
nations, fear for the future of America 
and the free world, fear we may lose 

all we hold dear, and soon. 

While most Americans continue to 
enjoy their comfortable complacency, 
the fact remains that the American way 
of life, with its spiritual foundation, 
is under powerful attack. 

The godless worldwide Communist 
conspiracy expects one day soon to take 
over the United States. With the active 
support of some 150 known or suspected 
Communist fronts and infiltrated 
groups identified by the FBI (Human 
Events, September 20, 1969); with al- 
most half the student bodies of 
colleges and universities of America 
reported to have elected presidents who 
support the revolution; with acts of 
treason .against the United States com- 
mitted daily throughout the nation, 
and laws on treason and sedition 
shattered by decisions of the Supreme 
Court; with riots in 125 cities within 
five days' time, 2,600 buildings burned 
and 713 of them in the nation's capi- 
tal; with revolutions interrupting oper- 
tions of 200 colleges and universities 
since Christmas; with the Reds order- 
ing the New Left to "close down 100 
universities in 1970"; and with the 
constant aid of leftists, dupes, fellow 
travelers, and complacent citizens, the 

conspiracy is now moving into what 
they claim is the final stages for a 
nationwide "revolutionary take over." 
(The National Program Letter; Dr. 
McBirnie's Newsletter, both October 

Some of the most prominent targets 
now under withering fire in this war 
against us are the Ten Commandments, 
the Sermon on the Mount, the Consti- 
tution of the United States, the institu- 
tion of private property, and the basic 
concepts of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Surely this is a time when consideration 
might well be given by the people of 
America, and the entire free world, to 
the important matter of citizenship re- 
sponsibility and, more importantly, 
membership in the churches of the free 

Today we face insidious, devastating 
evils that are widespread. Aimed espe- 
cially at the destruction of America — 
the last great bastion of freedom — with 
emphasis on our youth, the evils are 
everywhere, sponsored, promoted, and 
directed by the Communist conspiracy, 
fellow travelers, and dupes. Never has 
evil been presented in such an array of 
appealing forms. We face a most dan- 
gerous revolution in America, and it is 

December 1969 


'...there are certain eternal verities, 
principles, that never change. 
Jesus Christ is in very deed 'the way, 
the truth, and the life.'" 

now in progress. According to the 
FBI, "It is well-planned, well-financed, 
and well-armed." As citizens of the 
greatest nation of the world, we face a 
deadly serious crisis. We must do 
battle with these evil forces on every 
front, now. Any delay will be disas- 
trous. "We must begin aggression 
against evil. The time for procrastina- 
tion and permissiveness is long past." 

These atrocious, destructive evils are 
now revealed in our music, in our art, 
in sex perversion and so-called sex 
education in the schools, in destructive 
sensitivity training — a powerful form 
of Pavlovian brainwashing, as used by 
Communists on captured American 
servicemen in Korea and by Hitler in 
Nazi Germany. 

These evils are prominent in the 
promotion of drugs — LSD, marijuana, 
and a host of others — in leading maga- 
zines and underground publications 
for youth; in TV, movie, and radio 
programs, in pornographic literature, 
in morally destructive paperback books 
available to all on newsstands, and in 
Communist-oriented anti-American or- 
ganizations, such as SDS (Students for 
a Democratic Society). 

These devilish forces "led generally 
by dirty minds in dirty bodies," seem 
to be everywhere. They are spreading 
into every segment of our social, eco- 
nomic, and religious life — all aimed at 
the destruction of one whole generation 
of our choice youth in preparation for 
the Communist take-over. 

The godless Communists have de- 
clared, "We are going to destroy the 
moral character of a generation of 
young Americans, and when we have 
finished you will have nothing with 
which to really defend yourself against 
us." We may, as adults, close our eyes 
to them and keep our heads in the sand, 
hoping they will go away; but these 
evils are here, close by, working in- 
sidiously and destructively day by day, 
hour by hour, without ceasing. Will 
parents who have abandoned their 
responsibilities for the training and 
guidance of their children awaken and 
act before it is too late? 

We may cry, "peaceful coexistence," 
but there is no such thing with the 
devil and his emissaries. We are at 
war — not a cold war, but a burning, 
searing hot war, the most serious war 
in the memory of man. We must win 
this war now. Will parents bestir 
themselves before it is too late? Will 
our political leaders really awaken to 
the danger? Will courageous action 
come before destruction falls? Will we 
as citizens rally prayerfully and ac- 
tively to courageous leadership? 

The Christian world — the real Chris- 
tian world — knows that there are certain 
eternal verities, principles, that never 
change. Jesus Christ is in very deed 
"the way, the truth, and the life." The 
Ten Commandments are verily true. 
They form a permanently binding code 
of conduct that man cannot violate 
without drastic damage to both his 
material and his spiritual welfare. We 
know that God is not dead — that he is 
watching us — even though one of the 
Russian astronauts cracked: "We've 
been all over 'heaven' and we didn't 
see any sign of God." 

Yes, godless forces do threaten our 
great civilization. These godless forces 
are forging a union of state and 
atheism. I quote in substance from 
the well-known constitutional lawyer, 
Dean Clarence E. Manion (see Ma- 
nion Forum Broadcast 747, January 26, 
1969) : 

Can you name the three kings who 
came out of the East bearing gifts for 
the Infant Jesus? St. Matthew called 
them the Three Wise Men of the Year 
One a.d. A few months ago a national 
magazine called the Apollo 8 Astro-s 
nauts the Three Men of the Year 1968. 
But by whatever name they are called, 
these six famous men are now forever 
joined across the centuries by their 
colorful execution of the same high 
purpose. All of them followed their 
stars from the end of their earth to 
praise and glorify God. 

The miracle for St. Matthew's men 
was the unerring accuracy of the Star 
of Bethlehem, which guided them to 
their divine destination. The wonder 

of the world for 1968 was the apparent 
common faith, wisdom, humility, and, 
last but not least, the moral courage 
of Colonel Borman, Captain Lovell, 
and Major Anders, who, on Christmas 
Day, at the apex of history's then long- 
est and most perilous voyage, gave 
praise and thanks to God, the Creator 
of heaven and earth, and implored his 
blessing upon all of the three billion 
listening people of this world. 

When all of the facts, figures, and 
findings of the first incredible journey 
to the moon are finally evaluated and 
computerized, this unscheduled, un- 
precedented public act of religious faith 
and worship will be found, like the 
name of Abou Ben Adhem, to lead all 
the rest for all the years to come. With- 
out the blessings of the Lord, all this 
would be quite impossible. 

Those professed atheists, who have 
confidently relied upon science to de- 
throne and eclipse Almighty God, are 
already doing their manful best, of 
course, to rub out all reference to the 
prayer in their recapitulation and 
evaluation of Apollo 8. The monitor- 
ing Communists in Moscow decided 
wisely to ignore it. But some others 
are unable to restrain their indignation 
and have probably been back to the 
United States Supreme Court seeking 
the same kind of prohibition against 
the public glorification of God in the 
heavens that they have so successfully 
maintained here on earth. 

The justices may or may not wel- 
come this new opportunity to reenforce 
their strange new doctrine of neutrality 
in the weird war that is being fronted 
against God and religion. Undoubtedly, 
the Court's ultimate decision will be 
influenced by what happens to the 
attitude of the American people in the 
meantime. For the real question now 
is this: How much longer will the 
American people — the whole Christian 
world — continue to tolerate the sadistic 
beating that religion has been taking 
in this country and elsewhere for the 
past 25 years? 

Frankly recognizing that godless 
forces in this country have always been 
overwhelmingly outnumbered by the 
faithful, the first working principle 
of the anti-God strategists has been to 
move insidiously and always carefully 
to avoid anything that resembles a 
direct attack or a frontal confrontation 
with their opponents. 

So in launching their campaign 
against God, the attackers proceeded 
first to ignore him in the secular press; 
second, to humanize him in the 
churches; third, to clobber him with 
ridicule on the campus; and, finally, to 
induce the courts to enforce official 
governmental neutrality in all litigated 
controversies about God and religion. 

From a practical standpoint, of 


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course, these decisions establish a union 
of state and atheism. The accomplish- 
ment of this last objective has taken 
prayer out of the public schools; and 
if and when the judicial conclusion is 
extended to its logical limits, it will 
abolish tax exemption for church 
property, eliminate chaplains from the 
armed services, remove our motto "In 
God we trust" from our coins, and 
require major surgery upon our official 
salute to the flag. 

We must realize that the anti-prayer 
decisions are simply a beguiling climax 
in the wide-ranging campaign against 
God and religion that has been sus- 
tained here in this country, and in 
many other nations, for more than 
three decades. 

It was boldly begun here in 1933 
(November 16), when the United 
States announced our diplomatic recog- 
nition of atheistic Soviet Russia. For 15 
years the United States had refused to 
recognize the godless Moscow Com- 
munists, for the reasons published at 
length in 1920 by Bainbridge Colby, 
Secretary of State in the administration 
of President Woodrow Wilson. In con- 
cluding his long letter of documenta- 
tion and explanation, Colby had said 
this: "There cannot be *any common 
ground upon which the Government of 
the United States can stand with a 
power whose conceptions are so entirely 
alien to our own, so utterly repugnant 
to our moral sense." 

This recognition, together with the 
abandonment of the inspired Monroe 
Doctrine, gave the Red atheists a big 
diplomatic sanctuary for the coordina- 
tion and direction of their propagandist 
spies and saboteurs. These promptly 
infiltrated every branch of our federal 
government and later every segment of 
our economy, and more recently have 
established a godless base 90 miles from 
our shores. Our recognition broke the 
ice of American resistance to the ac- 
ceptance of the Kremlin gangsters into 
the international community as a legiti- 
mate government and so strengthened 
their iron grip upon the tortured people 
of Russia and her satellites. 

Judging by its demoralized works, 
atheism has now quit advancing in 
this country simply because it has ar- 
rived. Not just rhetorically but actually 
— our country is in an ungodly mess. 
City streets are terrorized by crime; our 
biggest and most expensive campuses 
are paralyzed by nihilism and anarchy; 
with special license from the Supreme 
Court, theaters are boldly featuring sex 
perversion and the newsstands are 
loaded with hard-core pornography. 
Big-name investigating commissions 
have told us all about riots, crime, 
progress, and poverty, but always in 
materialistic terms of money, housing, 

social service jobs, and birth control — 
without a word about the possibilities 
for personal moral self-restraint. 

What about our churches? You have 
heard the startling story of what scien- 
tific atheism has done to institutional 
religion in the United States and else- 

But if atheism has taken over, then 
who and where are the atheists? It 
was sheer coincidence, of course, that 
the day after the 1968 astronauts gave 
us their inspiring prayer from the 
moon, the Gallup Poll reported that 
98 percent of the American people be- 
lieve in God. Fantastic? Not at all. 
How many avowed atheists do you 
know personally? 

Gallup also found that 65 percent of 
us believe in hell and 60 percent of all 
Americans believe in the devil. Now 
just a word to this big majority who 
believe in the devil. Who, in your 
opinion, has masterminded this tragic 
transformation of the official, control- 
ling American mind? The devil? 
Through Satan's communistic counter- 
feit to the gospel? Then, why don't we 
all say so? 

Now to the 98 percent of us who 
believe in God: Well, the astronauts 
did something big about it. Now will 
you please do a little something about 
it when you get your next captive audi- 
ence, however small it is? 

Organized atheism, representing just 
two percent of our population, has con- 
taminated — is still contaminating — the 
whole course of American life, of 
Christian life everywhere. In this coun- 
try today a two percent tail is wagging 
the big 98 percent dog. Never in all 
history have so many been horn- 
swoggled by so few. 

For years we have all been obsessed 
with the iniquities of the Supreme 
Court. The way to do something about 
the Supreme Court is for the 98 percent 
of us to become obsessed with the 
omnipotent goodness of the Supreme 
Being. What do you suppose would 
happen in all branches of our govern- 
ment if the 98 percent of us would stop 
complaining and start working and 

We Americans have come almost a 
year with a new national administra- 
tion in the United States. The world 
is watching. Perhaps now is the time 
to return to basic eternal concepts, to 
praise the Lord while we continue to 
work hard on the Congress, the Presi- 
dent, and the Supreme Court. 

Other nations might well follow a 
similar pattern of concern. 

As Americans — as members of the 
worldwide Christian community — we 
can defeat the godless, atheistic forces 
that threaten us. Yes, with the help of 
Almighty God we can — we must — win 

Improvement Era 

the war against the evil forces which 
seem almost to overwhelm us. The 
eternal verities revealed from God, 
through his inspired prophets, have not 
and will not change. 

Let us "put on the whole armour of 
God, that [we] may be able to stand 
against the wiles of the devil." There 
is no other way of safety. 

God is not dead. He lives, for he has 

appeared — together with his Beloved 
Son Jesus Christ — in our day. This I 
know, as I know that I live, and I bear 
this humble witness in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. Q 

Saturday afternoon session, October 4, 1969 

■:■■ ..— 

This You Can Count On 


Richard L. Evans 
Of the Council of the Twelve 

• President McKay, and my beloved 
brethren and sisters: 

My heart has been touched, as I am 
sure yours have been, by the beautiful 
singing of this MIA girls' centennial 
chorus. I am sure that for them, in 
their loveliness at this time of life, it 
is wonderful "to discover that they are 
being discovered!" 

Now, with their presence and their 
participation, it would seem appro- 
priate to turn to this year's MIA theme: 
"For the eternal purposes of the Lord 
shall roll on, until all his promises 
shall be fulfilled." (Morm. 8:22.) This, 
my beloved young friends, whoever you 
are, wherever you are, whatever you're 
thinking, wherever you're going — this, 
I promise you, you can count on. 

We come to you today — to you, our 
beloved young people everywhere — 
with an awareness that you face a 
complexity of choices such as we at 
your age had never heard of, and yet 
with an awareness that the principles 
are as clear-cut as they ever were, as 
they always were. 

And in the few moments I have, I'd 
like to touch quickly upon a number of 

First, I know of no more complete or 
important commitment, in time or in 
eternity, than marriage. In marriage 
we choose the closest companion of our 
life. In marriage we choose the parents 
of our children and the heritage they 
have. Don't let this choice ever be 
made except with earnest, searching, 
prayerful consideration, confiding in 

parents, in faithful, mature, trustworthy 
friends, making sure the person you 
marry shares your ideals, your convic- 
tions; a person with ambition, integrity, 
and intelligence; a person of cleanli- 
ness, of faith, of reverence and respect, 
to whom you would be willing to trust 
your children, and your own happiness, 
forever. Oh, be sure you choose a mate 
of character and kindness. And don't 
be stampeded by the music and the 

May I share a quotation from Presi- 
dent Tanner that is much worth re- 
membering: "The parents that you 
should honor more than any others 
are the parents of your children-to-be. 
Those children are entitled to the best 
parents that it is possible for you to 
give them — clean parents." (Church 
News, April 19, 1969, p. 2.) 

And now on the matter of morality: 
May I cite two significant sources: "The 
finest piece of mechanism in all the 
universe," said Dr. David Starr Jordan, 
of Stanford University, "is the brain of 
man and the mind which is its mani- 
festation. . . . The sober man is the 
one who protects his brain from all 
that would do harm. . . . The Twen- 
tieth Century . . . will be strenuous, 
complex . . . [and] will ask for men of 
instant decision, men whose mental 
equipment is all in order. . . .' No one 
can afford to look downward for his 
enjoyments. . . . The pleasures of vice 
are mere illusions, tricks of the nervous 
system, and each time these tricks are 
played it is more and more difficult 

for the mind to tell the truth. Such de- 
ceptions come through drunkenness and 
narcoticism. In greater or less degree 
all nerve- affecting drugs produce it: 
nicotine, caffeine, opium, cocaine, and 
[all] the rest, strong or weak. Habitual 
use of any of these is a physical vice. 
A physical vice becomes a moral vice, 
and ... to cultivate vice is to render 
. . . our mind incapable of normal ac- 
tion. . . . One and all, these various 
drugs . . . tend to give the impression 
of a power or a pleasure . . . which we 
do not possess. . . . One and all their 
function is to force the nervous system 
to lie. One and all the result of their 
habitual use is to render the nervous 
system incapable of ever telling the 
truth. . . . Indulgence . . . destroys wis- 
dom and virtue; it destroys faith and 
hope and love. . . . Whatever you do, 
. . . count all the cost." 

Thus spoke the eminent educator, 
Dr. Jordan. And this he added: "To be 
clean is to be strong. . . . To say no at 
the right time, and then stand by it, 
is the first element of success. . . . He 
is the wise man who, for all his life, 
can keep mind and soul and body 
clean." (Selected from The Strength of 
Being Clean and The Call of the 
Twentieth Century.) 

And now, for the second source: Dr. 
Frank Crane said: "Nature keeps books 
pitilessly. Your credit with her is good, 
but she collects. . . . She never forgets; 
she sees to it that you pay her every 
cent you owe, with interest. . . . Every 
generation a new crop of fools comes 

December 1969 


on. They think they can beat the 
orderly universe. They conceive them- 
selves to be more clever than the eter- 
nal laws. They snatch goods from 
Nature's store and run. . . . And one 
by one they all come back to Nature's 
counter and pay — pay in tears, in 
agony, in despair; pay as fools before 
them have paid." (Four Minute Essays: 
Pay, Pay,^ Pay!) 

There isn't any way to cheat nature, 
to bypass law, to run away from life. 
The commandments haven't been re- 
pealed; the laws of morality, the 
spiritual laws, the laws of life are still 
in force and effect. 

Oh, don't let others drag you down, 

and don't drag yourself down. No mat- 
ter what cynical or immoral or even 
honestly mistaken people may say, 
don't let them destroy your faith or 
your virtue, or lead you to a lower way 
of life. 

And when they try to tell you what 
you're missing, you tell them what 
they're missing: peace and self-respect 
and a quiet conscience — happiness — 
and the assurance of the highest op- 
portunities of everlasting life. 

Now to turn to the question of love: 
There are tests to which love should be 
put. Don't trust the love of anyone 
who would propose to you what is 
improper. Don't trust the love of any- 

Richard L. Evans 

The Spoken Word 

A lesson from Huckleberry Finn 

Concerning this matter of supposed emancipation from morality, 
may we forthrightly face and reaffirm this fundamental fact: that 
unhappiness, frustration, and impairment of the minds and lives 
of young and old alike come with failure to keep the commandments. 
Explain it any way you will, in technical or in commonplace terms, or 
in the jargon of those who want to rid themselves of all restraint, yet 
it all adds up to an overwhelming evidence that in this we are dealing 
with eternal truths, and that men cannot escape the consequences of 
their own conduct— that, indeed, they pay a heavy price when they 
degrade their bodies, minds, and morals. Well, we cannot leave it there. 
There has to be an answer— and there is: The answer is the simple, 
honest process of repentance. But to be relieved of any burden at all, 
a person's repentance must go deep beyond the surface— a repentance 
that is honestly sincere; an actual change of heart, of life; a real and 
literal departure from the errors of the past. And those who try to lift 
the load in any other way will not find the peace they so much seek. 
This point is made by Mark Twain as, in ungrammatical and vernacular 
language, this simple, honest message comes from Huckleberry Finn: 
"It made me shiver," he said. "And I about made up my mind to pray 
and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of boy I was and be 
better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why 
wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. ... I 
knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart ' 
warn't right, it was because I warn't square, it was because I was 
playing double. ... I was trying to make my mouth say I would do 
the right thing and the clean thing, . . . but deep down in me I 
knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie— I found 
that out." 1 So much for a lesson learned by Huckleberry Finn— a 
lesson all of us must sometime learn. 

'Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn: You Can't Pray a Lie, ch. 31. 

*"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, 
presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System October 12, 1969. Copyright 

one who would hurt or embarrass you 
or tempt you to evil, or endeavor to 
induce you to do that which would 
lead you to shame or sorrow. 

The test of love is in how we live. 
If we do really love someone, we would 
do for them, or induce them to do, only 
what would be for their happiness and 
peace and protection, for their benefit 
and blessing. 

If we truly love our parents, we will 
prove our love by living honorable 
lives and by respecting them, caring 
for them, taking them into our con- 

If we love the Church, we will prove 
that love by how we serve and honor 
our membership in it. 

Sometimes we say we love the Lord, 
but he has told us how to prove that 
love: "If ye love me, keep my com- 
mandments." (John 14:15.) 

Don't be deceived by false or selfish 
or counterfeit love from any source. 

Now, as to faith: Believe me, you 
can count on all that God has said. 
More than a hundred thirty-six years 
ago, to a young prophet he said simply, 
". . . tobacco is not . . . good for 
man. . . ." (D&C 89:8.) It has taken 
medical science more than a century 
to prove that the Lord knew what he 
was talking about. When he tells us 
something, he expects us to believe it. 
It doesn't take faith to believe the 
Word of Wisdom any more. It just 
takes a little common sense. 

I have been privileged to know some 
of the most brilliant men of the earth, 
in many countries, worldwide. I have 
a great respect for research and scholar- 
ship and for the skills and talents and 
minds of competent men. But I have 
never known a man who knew enough 
so that I was willing to trust him with 
my everlasting life. I only know one 
place to put such trust. Oh, I plead 
with you to go all the way with your 
Father in heaven, for you will see — 
all of us shall — in time and in eternity 
the promises of God fulfilled. This you 
can count on. 

Now a word about repentance: It 
seems significant that repentance is 
given as the second great principle of 
the gospel: "Faith, repentance. . . ." 
(Article of Faith 4.) 

We all make mistakes. If our re- 
pentance is sincere, we have the right to 
approach Him for forgiveness, but re- 
member we are not entitled to any 
quota of mistakes. It is always better 
that we don't make them. And surely 
we shouldn't go on stupidly or stub- 
bornly repeating the same old mistakes 
over and over again. We ought to have 
learned our lessons. It isn't enough 
to be just as good today as we were 
yesterday. We should be better. The 
Lord doesn't deal in theories. When 


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December 1969 


he says perfection is possible, we'd 
better be improving. But one of the 
most devilish doctrines that anyone 
could advocate would be to say that 
because someone had made a mistake, 
it wouldn't matter if he made one more, 
or many more. The best time to repent 
is now, before the next time. 

But don't let anyone tell you ever 
that you are beyond repenting, or that 
there is no point in repenting, or that 
it is all right to postpone repentance. 

I think it was our beloved Brother 
Harold B. Lee who said that the 
heaviest burden in the world is the 
burden of sin. Don't carry it around 
with you. Don't tamper with evil. 
Don't flirt with temptation. Don't live 
with a quarreling conscience. Confide 
in those who love you, who can help 
you — your parents, your bishops, your 
stake presidents. Clean out the clutter 
of the past and live to have peace and 
a quiet conscience. 

Many centuries ago Mencius said, 
"Let men decide firmly what they will 
not do, then they will be free vigorously 

to do what they ought to do." (Dis- 
courses, iv.) All of us ought to decide 
firmly what we will not do. We 
shouldn't have to argue with ourselves 
at each time of temptation. Taught as 
we are, our decisions against evil ought 
to be more or less automatic. 

In the words of Marcus Aurelius, "If 
it is not right, do not do it; if it is not 
true, do not say it." (Meditations, Bk. 
xii, sec. 17.) 

And now, as to law: We have seen 
men walk on the moon and we have 
marveled at the minds of men. But 
remember this: It was possible to gc 
to and from the moon because there are 
laws that can be counted on, because 
the Creator keeps creation in its course. 

I witness to you, my beloved young 
friends, that the moral and spiritual 
laws are as much in force and effect as 
are the physical laws. 

Study, learn. Don't drop out. Seek 
wholesome knowledge. Develop your 
talents. Increase in competence. Take 
counsel. There is safety in counsel. 
Don't stubbornly and rebelliously de- 

cide to go it alone in life. Keep your 
sense of humor. Keep your standards. 
Love and respect your parents. Keep 
close to the Church. Be active in it. 
Love and serve your country, your 
community. Love and enjoy life. 
Choose the right. Keep the heritage you 
have. Seek the guidance of your 
Father in prayer. Be happy. Have 
faith: "For the eternal purposes of the 
Lord shall roll on, until all his prom- 
ises shall be fulfilled." 

This I witneses to you as I witness 
that God lives; that you are his 
children; that he sent his divine Son to 
show us the way of life and redeem us 
from death; that the gospel has been re- 
stored to earth. This you can count 
on — and your life can be as happy and 
wonderful as anyone would ever want 
— "not for just an hour, not for just 
a day, not for just a year, but always." 
(Irving Berlin, "Always.") 

God bless you and be with you, my 
beloved young friends, this day — and 
always — I pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. Q 

The Way, the Light, 
and the Life 

Bernard P. Brockbank 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 


• My dear brothers and sisters: It is a 
joy to be in the atmosphere of peace 
and love, and that is what seems to be 
radiated here today. I would like to give 
a few general thoughts in the few mo- 
ments that I occupy. I would like to 
quote a few statements from our Lord 
and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said, "For I came down from 
heaven, not to do mine own will, but 
the will of him that sent me." (John 

"For God sent not his Son into the 
world to condemn the world; but that 
the world through him might be saved." 
(John 3:17.) 

Brothers and sisters, our assignment 
is not to condemn the world, but to 
help save the world. 

"I am come that they might have life, 
and that they might have it more 

"I am the good shepherd: the good 
shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." 
(John 10:10-11.) 

"... I am the way, the truth, and 
the life: no man cometh unto the 
Father, but by me." (John 14:6.) 

"... I am the light of the world: 
he that followeth me shall not walk in 
darkness, but shall have the light of 
life." (John 8:12.) 

In Jesus Christ and his teachings 
and example we have God's truth; 
we have God's way and God's example 
for full and abundant life. 

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the 
Savior of the world, the Messiah and 
Redeemer of all mankind, and the 
only mediator between God and mortal 

Jesus said, ". . . no man cometh unto 
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6.) 

The apostle Peter said, "Neither is 
there salvation in any other: for there 
is none other name under heaven 
given among men, whereby we must be 
saved." (Acts 4:12.) 


Improvement Era 

Jesus is the only mortal man who 
proved his divine godliness by the many 
miracles that he performed. He "re- 
buked the wind and the raging of the 
water: and they ceased, and there was 

"And they being afraid wondered, 
saying one to another, What manner 
of man is this! for he commandeth even 
the winds and water, and they obev 
him." (Luke 8:24-25.) 

Jesus multiplied five loaves of bread 
and two fishes and fed five thousand 
hungry people. He "commanded the 
multitude to sit down on the grass, and 
took the five loaves, and the two fishes, 
and looking up to heaven, he blessed, 
and brake, and gave the loaves to his 
disciples, and the disciples to the multi- 

"And they did all eat, and were 
filled: and they took up of the frag- 
ments that remained twelve baskets 

"And they that had eaten were about 
five thousand men, beside women and 
children." (Matt. 14:19-21.) 

Before witnesses Jesus raised the dead 
maid and Lazarus. He took the dead 
maid by the hand and called, saying, 
"Maid, arise. And her spirit came 
again, and she arose straightway. . . ." 
(Luke 8:51-55.) 

The people who were with Jesus 
when he called Lazarus out of his 
grave and raised him from the dead 
bear their records. 

Jesus healed the blind, the crippled, 
and the sick. 

The scripture^ say Jesus was cruci- 
fied for the sins of the world. 

Jesus was the first to be resurrected 
from the dead. 

The glorious resurrection was an- 
nounced. "He is not here, for he is 
risen. . . ." (Matt. 28:6.) 

"But now is Christ risen from the 
dead, and become the firstfruits of them 
that slept." (1 Cor. 15:20.) 

Jesus appeared to his disciples. "Be- 
hold my hands and my feet, that it is 
I myself: handle me, and see; for a 
spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye 
see me have." (Luke 24:39.) 

Paul said, "After that, he was seen 
of about five hundred brethren at 
once. ..." (1 Cor. 15:6.) 

Many other miracles were performed 
by him. His teachings, his life, his 
death, his resurrection, and his ascen- 
sion to the kingdom of God are evi- 
dence of his divinity. 

Jesus is the God of love, the God of 
peace, the God of light. 

The apostle John said, "This then 
is the message which we have heard of 
him, and declare unto you, that God 
is light, and in him is no darkness at 

"If we say that we have fellowship 

with him, and walk in darkness, we 
lie, and do not the truth: 

"But if we walk in the light, as he 
is in the light, we have fellowship one 
with another, and the blood of Jesus 
Christ his Son cleanseth us from all 
sin." (1 John 1:5-7.) 

"He that saith he is in the light, and 
hateth his brother, is in darkness even 
until now. 

"He that loveth his brother abideth 
in the light, and there is none occasion 
of stumbling in him. 

"But he that hateth his brother is 
in darkness, and walketh in darkness, 
and knoweth not whither he goeth, be- 
cause that darkness hath blinded his 
eyes." (1 John 2:9-11.) 

Today there is spiritual darkness in 
the world in many places and in the 
lives of many of the Lord's children. 
Much has been said in this conference 
relative to this. 

Today there is widespread disrespect 
for God, disrespect for Jesus Christ and 
his teachings and commandments, 

Richard L. Evans 

The Spoken Word 

Take time for your children 

We "shall not pass again this way"— and in these switt-passmg 
scenes and seasons there seems to come— insistently, almost 
above all else— this compelling cry: Take time for your chil- 
dren. More and more, professional people are telling us that chil- 
dren are shaped and molded at a very early age— so early that it is 
a sobering fact to face. Home, parents, early impressions set the pat- 
tern for the future— and the evidence is overwhelming that nothing in 
this world is ever going to take the place of wholesome, happy homes. 
And there is more to this than food, shelter, and physical sustenance. 
There is the shaping of attitudes, of minds, of morals; opening avenues 
of interest and activity; instilling honesty, respect, reverence; prayers at 
a mother's knee; correction with fairness and firmness, "showing forth 
afterwards an increase of love" 1 and kindness. All this we cannot be, 
all this we cannot do, by not being there, by living separate lives, by 
an overabsorption in outside interests. Take time for your children. 
They are so soon grown, so soon gone. "Is mother home?" "Where is 
mother?" are the questions asked when they come home. from any- 
where. Oh, let them have the blessing of your being there. Take time 
for open arms; for talking, for reading, for family prayer: for home 
evenings and hours. As one discerning poet put it: 'Richer than I you 
can never be— I had a mother who read to me." 2 Take time for mak- 
ing memories; for fixing sure foundations that will last long after less 
essential things are far forgotten. Mothers need to be home. A mother, 
a father, waiting is a source of safety and assurance. Parents need to 
give their children wholesomeness and wholeness by the very lives 
they live. Oh, the blessedness of coming home and finding mother 
there, with love and kindness and encouragement. Life goes quickly. 
Don't brush them off and turn them over to others. Take time for your 
children— before they're grown, before they're gone. Oh, take time for 
your children. 

'D&C 121:43. 

'Strickland Gillilan, The Reading Mother. 

*"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, 
presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System October 5, 1969. Copyright 

December 1969 


disrespect for self and neighbor, disre- 
spect for marriage and family, disrespect 
for the holy scriptures. 

Many love themselves and pleasure 
more than they love God. Men love the 
creatures and the creations of God more 
than they love the Creator. Alcohol, 
tobacco, stimulants, and drugs are 
consumed abundantly. In many, the 
appetites are controlling their brains 
and minds, rather than the God-given 
human mind controlling the appetites. 
Love is often turned into lust. Love 
is from God and lust is from Satan. 

Young people and many others are 
concerned and are asking about today 
and the future. I am often asked, 
"What does today and the future offer 

Young people, all that your God and 
your Savior have ever offered to mortal 
man is available to you today. Knowl- 
edge of the living God and the living 
Jesus Christ is available to you now. 

You can seek first the kingdom of 
God and his righteousness, and he has 
promised you his care and blessings. 
The God-inspired scriptures, the Holy 
Bible and the Book of Mormon, with 
God's plan of life, are available today. 
You can pray to a living God that 
created you in his image and likeness 
and have your prayers heard and an- 
swered. You can love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and with all thy 

soul, and with all thy mind. You can 
love neighbor and self. You can be 
honest. You can love your parents and 
honor them. 

There is a prophet of God and apos- 
tles on the earth today to assist and 
help you; you can follow their example 
and counsel. 

You can be baptized for the remis- 
sion of sins and receive the gift of the 
Holy Ghost by those holding the 
priesthood of God. 

You can repent and be forgiven and 
be free of sin. Jesus Christ said, "Be- 
hold, he who has repented of his sins, 
the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, 
remember them no more." (D&C 
58:42.) Repentance is the God-given 
principle to perfect your life. When 
used, it cleanses away sin, weakness, 
imperfection, and brings progress, peace, 
love, righteousness, and eternal life. 

Jesus said, ". . . Repent: for the king- 
dom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 

Repentance will lift you from dark- 
ness and cloudiness to the light of 
godliness. Preparation for the kingdom 
of heaven through repentance is avail- 
able to you today. 

Young people, you can be married 
for time and eternity in a temple of 
God by one holding the Holy Mel- 
chizedek Priesthood. You can live the 
God-revealed Word of Wisdom and 

have the destroying angel pass you by. 
You can pay your tithing and offerings 
and have the Lord open the windows 
of heaven and pour you out a blessing, 
that there shall not be room enough 
to receive it. You can do the will of 
God and help build his church and 
kingdom on this earth. 

All of the accumulated knowledge of 
man is also available to you today. It 
is estimated that we have twice the 
knowledge available today that we had 
a few years ago. As young people, all 
of the evils of the world are also avail- 
able to you. 

Our Prophet opened this conference 
with these words in his message: "God 
gave to man part of his divinity. He 
gave man the power of choice, and no 
other creature in the world has it, so 
he placed upon the individual the obli- 
gation of conducting himself as an 
eternal being." 

Young people, when you pray, pray 
for wisdom, pray for faith, pray for 
love, pray for strength and forgiveness. 
Ask to be helped through the tempta- 
tions of this life and be sure you ask 
to be delivered from evil. 

I testify that Jesus Christ lives to- 
day, that he is the way, the truth, and 
the life, and that you can come unto 
the fullness of life by following him, 
and so pray in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. Q 


Easing the Sting of Death 

James A. Cullimore 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 

", :• *: : : ' :. ': : '". >, : ' ' -,: 


• My beloved brethren and sisters: 
This is a choice experience to be with 
you here today. 

The passing of Brother John Long- 
den has been referred to at least twice 
during this conference. I would also 
like to refer to this and let you know 
how very much we miss our fellow 
worker and associate, and how he is 

missed in the Church because of his 
untimely death. It has saddened us 
all. We miss him greatly, and I am 
sure you will agree with me that he 
will be missed all over the Church. 
Brother John has earned a great re- 
ward, and I am sure that in the king- 
dom of our Father he will receive this 

I was greatly impressed by the peace 
and understanding with which Sister 
Longden accepted the passing of John. 
Only she will know, of course, of the 
real sorrow, the pangs of loneliness, 
that he will not return in this life. But 
the understanding of the gospel and 
the plan of salvation can greatly ease 
the sting of death. 


Improvement Era 

Knowing the beauty of God's plan 
for the salvation of his children some- 
times makes even death beautiful. We 
understand that death is a very neces- 
sary part of the great plan of salvation 
and that it is the means of the separa- 
tion of the body and the spirit, in which 
the spirit returns to God and the body 
returns to the earth. As the scripture 
says: "Then shall the dust return to the 
earth as it was: and the spirit shall 
return unto God who gave it." (Eccles. 

Death is just as necessary as birth 
in this great plan. Birth into this life 
is the means by which the spirit and 
the body are joined together for their 
great mission on this earth. Resurrec- 
tion is the process whereby the spirit, 
which separated from the body in 
death, is again reunited with the body, 
which has been purified, glorified, and 
immortalized, never to be separated 

Yes, even death can be beautiful as 
we understand the plan of the Lord 
and know that in life we have lived 
well. Even the pangs of sorrow, be- 
cause of separation and the many 
memories, are momentarily over- 
shadowed by this understanding. 

I shall never forget one such beauti- 
ful occasion. My parents had lived a 
good life. They had celebrated their 
sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. To 
them had been born 12 children; six 
boys filled missions; all the family is 
active in the Church. Father filled a 
three-year mission. He was a bishop for 
nearly thirty years. Mother had com- 
pletely sustained my father in all his 
Church activities and had held many 
responsible positions in the ward her- 
self. When father left on his mission, 
they had one child and were expecting 
another. In her eighty-fourth year, 
mother broke her hip and was quite ill 
in the hospital. My father, at 86, was 
still very active and drove to work each 
day. He came from work that day, 
visited with mother in the hospital for 
a while, then went on to the house. 
That evening he passed away peace- 
fully. Mother never knew of his 
passing, for the next day she passed 
away also. A double funeral was held. 
As we all visited during the evening of 
the viewing, realizing the beautiful, 
full lives both had lived, and knowing 
the kindness of the Lord in sparing 
either of them the loneliness of being 
alone, there could be no real sorrow — 
yes, momentary grief in separation, but 
otherwise beautiful peace in knowing 
they were together. 

"Not long ago a noted scholar wrote 
a book entitled The Meaning of 
Death. The contents of his work were 
taken from several case histories of 
individuals who were suffering from 

terminal cancer. These people were 
faced with the immediate problem of 

"The object of the study was to as- 
sess the feelings of those who were 
about to die. Almost universally the 
patients agreed that the inevitability of 
death was not the issue. The real issue 
was how to live a full life. They all 
seemed to agree that the problem of 
dying is the regret of not having lived." 
(Max W. Swenson, "Living Life Abun- 
dantly," Impact, Winter 1969, p. 8.) 

The concern of living a good life and 
keeping the commandments in prepara- 
tion to meet our Maker has been the 
concern of mankind from the begin- 
ning. Unto Cain the Lord said, "If 
thou doest well, shalt thou not be ac- 
cepted? and if thou doest not well, sin 
lieth at the door. . . ." (Gen. 4:7.) 

Unto Moses the Lord gave a code of 
living that was reaffirmed in the 
meridian dispensation by the Savior 
and again in this dispensation in 
which he said: 

"Thou shalt have no other gods be- 
fore me. 

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any 
graven image. 

"Thou shalt not take the name of the 
Lord thy God in vain. 

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep 
it holy. 

"Honour thy father and thy mother. 

"Thou shalt not kill. 

"Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

"Thou shalt not steal. 

"Thou shalt not bear false wit- 

"Thou shalt not covet. . . ." (See 
Exod. 20:2-17.) 

The Lord exhorted the children of 
Israel to obedience when he said, "Be- 
hold, I set before you this day a blessing 
and a curse; 

"A blessing, if ye obey the command- 
ments of the Lord your God, which I 
command you this day: 

"And a curse, if ye will not obey 
the commandments of the Lord your 
God. . . ." (Deut. 11:26-28.) 

The Savior promised, "For the Son 
of man shall come in the glory of his 
Father with his angels; and then he 
shall reward every man according to 
his works." (Matt. 16:27.) 

Possibly one of the most direct an- 
swers as to proper conformity in life 
was given by Peter on the day of Pente- 
cost. Filled with the Holy Ghost, he 
delivered a powerful sermon and bore 
witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ. 
Many were pricked in their hearts and 
wanted to know what they should do 
to be saved. He said, "Repent, and be 
baptized every one of you in the name 
of Jesus Christ for the remission of 
sins, and ye shall receive the gift of 
the Holy Ghost. 

"For the promise is unto you, and 
to your children, and to all that are 
afar off, even as many as the Lord our 
God shall call." (Acts 2:38-39.) 

Paul, who found the Galatian saints 
believing false doctrine, called them 
to repentance, saying, "Be not deceived; 
God is not mocked: for whatsoever a 
man soweth, that shall he also reap. 

"For he that soweth to his flesh 
shall of the flesh reap corruption; but 
he that soweth to the Spirit shall of 
the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Gal. 

In this dispensation the Lord has 
said: "If thou wilt do good, yea, and 
hold out faithful to the end, thou 
shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, 
which is the greatest of all the gifts 
of God; for there is no gift greater 
than the gift of salvation." (D&C 

But the Lord has not left us alone. 
In every dispensation of the gospel, he 
has administered unto his children — 
instructing them as to how they can 
regain his presence. He walked and 
talked with the ancient prophets. The 
prophet Alma tells how the Lord sent 
angels to converse with men in his 
time and reveal the plan of redemp- 
tion. ". . . he saw that it was expedient 
that man should know concerning the 
things whereof he had appointed unto 

"Therefore he sent angels to converse 
with them, who caused men to behold 
of his glory. 

"And they began from that time 
forth to call on his name; therefore God 
conversed with men, and made known 
unto them the plan of redemption, 
which had been prepared from the 
foundation of the world; and this he 
made known unto them according to 
their faith and repentance and their 
holy works." (Al. 12:28-30.) 

Possibly one's concern about not hav- 
ing lived well is really in not knowing 
what his real purpose in life is. Real 
peace of mind comes from a firm con- 
viction of the plan of salvation as 
revealed to us of the Lord; that we are 
the children of God, created in his 
image; that he is the Father of our 
spirits; that we lived with him in a 
glorious spiritual existence before this 
temporal existence; that this mortal 
state is probationary; that through 
death and the resurrection, having 
lived a worthy life, having complied 
with the ordinances of the gospel, we 
might enter again into the presence of 
God. Peace comes as we know the 
gospel and live it, as we develop a 
strong testimony of its divinity, as we 
are vindicated by the Holy Spirit in 
our good works. 

In this dispensation God has also 
visited the earth and sent his messen- 

December 1969 


gers to reveal unto us his plan of re- 
demption, that we may know of his 
will and feel his sustaining spirit as 
we do his bidding. He has said, ". . . 
Repent, repent, and prepare ye the 
way of the Lord, and make his paths 
straight; for the kingdom of heaven is 
at hand; 

"Yea, repent and be baptized, every 
one of you, for a remission of your 

sins; yea, be baptized even by water, 
and then cometh the baptism of fire 
and of the Holy Ghost." (D&C 33:10- 

It is our witness to the world that 
the gospel of Jesus Christ, as revealed 
to the Prophet Joseph Smith, contains 
the direction and understanding of 
eternal life, that by abiding by its prin- 
ciples and teachings and by complying 

with its ordinances, one might have 
peace and satisfaction by the' vindica- 
tion of the spirit, and whether in life 
or death they will know all is well — 
death will have no sting. 

I leave you this witness, my brothers 
and sisters, and witness unto you that 
God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and 
that thisis his church, in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. Q 


God Loves Us 

Hartman Rector, Jr. 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• It is intended that man is to be like 
God. The scriptures declare that man 
was made in the beginning in the 
image and likeness of God. 

Paul, speaking of Jesus Christ, said 
that he (Christ), "being in the form of 
God, thought it not robbery to be equal 
with God." (Phil 2:6.) He further de- 
clared that he (Christ) was "the 
brightness of his [Father's] glory, and 
the express image of his person. . . ." 
(Heb. 1:3.) 

God, the Father of the spirits of all 
men, is in all respects like his Son 
Jesus Christ, whom we, at least to some 
extent, know; for he has revealed him- 
self to us, and although we may not 
understand all things about Jesus 
Christ, we know what manner of man 
he was from records that were kept 
of his exemplary life. What is more, 
in the words of John we understand 
"that when he shall appear, we shall be 
like him." (1 John 3:2.) 

From these and other scriptures, it 
becomes clear that it is intended that 
man is to be like God. In fact, the 
Master made this a central part of his 
teachings when he walked in mortality 
among men. "Be ye therefore perfect, 
even as your Father which is in heaven 
is perfect." (Matt. 5:48.) This was his 
commission to us. Then, the question 

of questions becomes: What is God 

I have often felt the reason we don't 
understand God is because we are so 
unlike him. By that, I mean that even 
though man is like God physically, 
spiritually man is far from God. For- 
tunately, the Lord has given us specific 
direction and guidance to get us into 
condition so we grow closer to him 
spiritually also. 

However, regretfully, though men 
draweth nigh unto God with their 
mouths, and honoreth him with 
their lips, their hearts are far from 
him. (See Matt. 15:8.) This is true 
primarily because we are concerned 
with what we want to do rather 
than with what God wants us to do. 

If we face facts, we will realize we 
are all afflicted with the same malady. 
It is the root cause of all the problems 
and suffering in the world, both col- 
lectively and individually, and has 
always been. What is this cause? It 
is a very simple, one-word answer — 
selfishness. I use this word in its 
broadest sense, which includes greed 
and covetousness. We are selfish, and 
selfishness is not like God. 

We endlessly do what we want to 
do instead of doing what the Lord 
wants us to do. It isn't that we don't 

know what the Lord wants us to do. 
He has made it abundantly clear 
through revelation to his prophets, but 
we are too concerned with our own 

How does it happen that we are this 
way? What makes us so selfish? I 
don't believe we are born this way. 
The spirit comes to this earth essen- 
tially free of selfish desire, but it 
appears it is made selfish at a very 
early age. 

The human infant comes into this 
world in a completely helpless condi- 
tion. It cannot support itself. There- 
fore, the Lord has placed in the heart 
of the adult male and female great 
love for infants. 

This love is frequently expressed by 
supplying every wish of this infant to 
the point where, after about five to six 
years of this kind of treatment, the 
child begins to feel that the whole 
world revolves around it. "Me first" 
and "I want the biggest" form some of 
his first phrases. Parents suddenly 
come to the startling realization that 
they have a spoiled child on their 
hands. They then embark on a long, 
drawn-out program that will only take 
50 to 70 years to talk Junior out of 
being selfish. Sometimes they never 


Improvement Era 

On the success of this endeavor, the 
happiness of the individual depends. 
The selfish man suffers eternally from 
his selfishness, for never can a selfish 
man become like God. Instead, he 
has erected himself as his idol. Of 
course, this is not necessarily the only 
way that we become selfish. Man is 
by nature fallen, therefore self-centered. 

Someone has said, "Most men, born 
into this world, creep selfishly into 
nameless graves; while every now and 
then one man forgets himself into im- 

The Lord saw fit to give instruction 
on this subject to his children early in 
this dispensation. In February 1829, 
he set forth the qualifications for the 
labors of the ministry. He said, "And 
faith, hope, charity and love, with an 
eye single to the glory of God, qualify 
him for the work." (D&C 4:5.) 

Now, the faith, hope, charity, and 
love are of vital importance, but the 
eye single to the glory of God is 
crucial. This means that all decisions 
must be made on the side of the Lord. 
Instead of forever doing what we want 
to do, we must do what the Lord wants 

The Lord says our eye must be 
single to his glory, and in the scripture 
it is spelled EYE. Of course, this is 
figuratively speaking. I believe he 
means the capital I, or you — WE. We 
must be single to the glory of God. 
When we act, we must always have in 
mind what the Lord has said. Of 
course, the ideal would be to harmo- 
nize our desires with the will of the 
Lord; then we can always do what we 
want and still have the approval of 
the Lord, but this is seldom the case. 

The Lord continued this revelation 
on the qualification for the labors of 
the ministry by saying, "Remember 
faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, 
patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, 
charity, humility, diligence." (D&C 

Surely the Lord feels these attributes 
are vitally important to our success in 
his work, for he admonishes us to 
remember them. 

We are, to some extent, familiar with 
most of these attributes, but what does 
he mean by godliness? We think in- 
stantly he must mean that we must 
become like God, but how do we do 

Perhaps it means to become perfect 
in all these qualifications he has listed. 
No — if that were the case, he would 
have needed only one qualification: 

Godliness must mean something spe- 
cial. Perhaps it has to do with the 
distinguishing characteristic of God. 

What is the distinguishing character- 
istic of our Heavenly Father? John 

gave us a clue when he said: "Beloved, 
let us love one another: for love is of 
God; and every one that loveth is born 
of God and knoweth God. 

"He that loveth not knoweth not 
God; for God is love." (1 John 4:7-8. 
Italics added.) 

This was so very difficult for me to 
understand before the missionaries 
knocked on my door, for, from this 
scripture and others quite similar, it 
appeared that God and love were one 
and the same. Is God, then, just an 
emotion? You can't see love. You may 
see the effect of love or the 'lack of it, 
but love is not a corporate entity. When 

I learned the truth — that God is an 
exalted man of flesh and bone and 
spirit — then I understood what John 
was saying: that love is God's dis- 
tinguishing characteristic. 

God loves us. We know it. The 
scriptures declare it, and from the 
experiences of each one of us, we know 
it to be true. Almost no one doubts 
this fact. God loves us, but why? 
Why does God love us when we often 
do not deserve his love? 

One might say, "Oh, because we are 
his children." It is true, we are his 
children, but is that the reason he loves 
us? Does he only love what belongs 

Richard L. Evans 

The Spoken Word 

Education— to what end? 

There is a sentence from Samuel Johnson that points to a 
persistently important subject: "Integrity without knowledge is 
weak and useless," he said. "Knowledge without integrity is 
dangerous and dreadful." 1 We sometimes speak of education as if it 
were an end in and of itself, but constantly and searchingly we should 
ask ourselves what is the aim of education. Education to what end, for 
what purpose, is always a compelling question. It is, of course, to 
increase knowledge and skill, competence and understanding. But it 
should also increase character and integrity. To point the subject 
further, suppose we were to educate people for evil and deception. 
Would an educated evil be more acceptable than an uneducated evil? 
Certainly it could be more devious and destructive. We have referred 
before to talent without character, power without character, weapons 
without character— even words without character. Anything without 
character is a hazard, including education without character. Education 
is surely not a substitute for morality, and in teaching and directing 
youth, moral and ethical and spiritual elements must be added to give 
character and balance to their lives, if we are to have a safe and whole- 
some society. "The end of education," said President Dickey of Dart- 
mouth, "is to see men made whole, both in competence and in 
conscience. For to create the power of competence without creating a 
corresponding direction to guide the use of that power is bad education. 
Furthermore, competence will finally disintegrate apart from con- 
science." 2 We would cite again a sentence from Henry Adams, who 
said: "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence 
stops." 3 If moral and ethical content is separated from education, the 
future would indeed be frightening. "Integrity without knowledge is 
weak and useless. Knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dread- 

'Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, ch. 41. 

2 )ohn Sloan Dickey, president of Dartmouth College, as quoted by the Right Reverend John E. Hines in a 
Newcomen Address, January 25, 1968. 

3 Henry Adams, "The Education of Henry Adams," ch. 20. 

*"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, 
presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System September 21, 1969. Copyright 

December 1969 


to him? If we are not careful, we will 
ascribe to God our own selfishness. 

Another might say, "He loves us 
because he knows us and knows our 
potential." It is true he does know 
our potential, but this would imply 
he would love those with greater po- 
tential more than those of less poten- 
tial. What if you had little or no 
potential? Would he not love you? 
There must be some other reason why 
our Heavenly Father loves us. Does he 
love us because we are good? I hope 
not. I'm afraid many of us would be 

I don't know why God loves us, but 
I believe the scriptures give us a clue. 
God doesn't love us because we are 
good. God loves us because he is good. 
God is good and so he loves us, and 
those who are the best love the best. 
It appears that only if you are good 
do you receive a reward for loving. 
The Lord requires us to love those who 
don't deserve it. 

"For if ye love them which love you, 
what thank have ye?" saith the Master, 
"for sinners also love those that love 

them." (Luke 6:32.) 

It is easy to love people who love us. 
It is much more difficult to love people 
who not only don't love us, but don't 
even like us. But if we are to be like 
our Father in heaven who "maketh his 
sun to rise on the evil and on the good, 
and sendeth rain on the just and on 
the unjust" (Matt. 5:45), then we must 
love these, people who don't like us, 
and we'll have to be good to do that. 

I have seen this godlike quality of 
unselfish love in all the best men I 
have known or read about. Jesus wept 
over those who rejected him and prayed 
for those who crucified him. 

Joseph Smith's heart was filled with 
love and compassion for all men, even 
for his persecutors. All the prophets 
have had this great quality. I never 
had the privilege of knowing President 
George Albert Smith, but from the 
testimony of those who knew him, love 
radiated from his countenance for all 
men. I know this to be a quality of 
President David O. McKay. I have 
seen and personally experienced the 
all-encompassing love of our present, 

beloved prophet. Those who are the 
best love the best. 

If we are good, we will look for and 
find the good in others. It is there. 
There is good in every man. In fact, 
I believe every man is superior to every 
other man in some thing. If you look 
for it, you will find it. But you can see 
only what you have eyes to see. It de- 
pends solely on how good you are as to 
whether you see good or not. 

All of the commandments given us 
by the Lord are calculated to make us 
good. This is to help us become like 

Only as we live in obedience to these 
commandments will we be able to 
know real love for others and real joy 

I bear witness that God, our Heav- 
enly Father, does live and that he 
loves us, and as we have love one for 
another and for all men, we will 
become more like him and find the 
great joy and happiness that is the ob- 
ject and design of our existence. I 
bear this witness to you in the name 
of Jesus Christ. Amen. O 

Where Do We Go 
When We Die? 

Milton R. Hunter 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 


• The age-old question "Where do we 
go when we die?" has been asked by 
old people and young people among 
all nations from time immemorial. 
Many disbelievers, cynics, and atheists 
today maintain that nothing exists for 
man beyond the grave — that death is 
the end. The greatest of all teachers, 
Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, pro- 
claimed an entirely different doctrine. 
He taught that there is a glorious life 
beyond the grave in the presence of the 
Eternal Father, and that by compliance 
with certain laws we may go there and 
enjoy it. For example, Nicodemus, a 
ruler of the Jews, came unto Jesus at 

night and in course of their conversion, 
Jesus declared: 

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Ex- 
cept a man be born of water and of 
the Spirit, he cannot enter into the 
kingdom of God." (John' 3:5.) 

The Savior revealed to Joseph Smith, 
a modern prophet: 

"Take upon you the name of 
Christ, . . . 

"And as many as repent and are 
baptized in my name, which is Jesus 
Christ, and endure to the end, the same 
shall be saved. 

"Behold, Jesus Christ is the name 
which is given of the Father, and there 

is none other name given whereby man 
can be saved." (D&C 18:21-23.) 

On a certain occasion, a dear friend 
of the Master in Palestine was very ill. 
His sisters, Martha and Mary, sent for 
Jesus to come and heal their brother. 
The Savior did not come for a few 
days, and when he did come Lazarus 
had been dead and buried for four days. 
Martha was told that Jesus was ap- 
proaching, and so she hurried out to 
meet him. She said: "Lord, if thou 
hadst been here, my brother had not 
died. . . . 

"Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother 
shall rise again. 


Improvement Era 

"Martha saith unto him, I know he 
shall rise again in the resurrection at 
the last day." 

Jesus replied: "I am the resurrection, 
and the life: he that believeth in me, 
though he were dead, yet shall he live: 

"And whosoever liveth and believeth 
in me shall never die. Believest thou 
this?" (John 11:21-26.) 

The night before his crucifixion, 
Jesus gave his apostles additional in- 
formation regarding his Father's king- 
dom. He said to them: 

"In my Father's house are many 
mansions: if it were not so, I would 
have told you. I go now to prepare 
a place for you. 

"And if I go and prepare a place 
for you, I will come again, and re- 
ceive you unto myself; that where I am, 
there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3.) 

What is death? It is nothing more 
than the separation of the spiritual 
body from the physical body. The 
physical tabernacle becomes diseased, 
worn, and aged, and, therefore, no 
longer a fit home for the spirit. Thus 
the spirit — the real person, in which all 
the good deeds committed, also the bad 
deeds committed, the personality — 
goes on alive as a spirit personage in 
the spirit world. Some departed spirits 
go to paradise, a place of peace and 
happiness where they can continue to 
work and progress. Others go to a 
spirit prison. Certain prophets have 
termed it a hell. The apostle Peter 
proclaimed that Christ who suffered 
death for our sins "went and preached 
unto the spirits in prison" (1 Pet. 
3:19) who had been there from the 
time they were drowned in the flood 
in Noah's day. 

Thus they were in the spirit prison 
for nearly twenty-five hundred years, 
because they had rejected the gospel of 
Jesus Christ and had lived wicked lives. 

John the Revelator saw in vision the 
resurrection and judgment of the hu- 
man family. He described it as 

"And I saw the dead, small and 
great, stand before God; and the books 
were opened: and another book was 
opened, which is the book of life: and 
the dead were judged out of those things 
which were written in the books, ac- 
cording to their works. 

"And the sea gave up the dead which 
were in it; and death and hell delivered 
up the dead which were in them: and 
they were judged every man according 
to their works." (Rev. 20:12-13.) 

The ancient American prophets 
taught that there would be a universal 
resurrection. Amulek stated: ". . . the 
day cometh that all shall rise from the 
dead and stand before God, and be 
judged according to their works." 
(Al. 11:41.) 

Jacob, the brother of Nephi, described 
the judgment day: "Wherefore, we 
shall have a perfect knowledge of all 
our guilt, and our uncleanness, and 
our nakedness; and the righteous shall 
have a perfect knowledge of their en- 
joyment, and their righteousness, being 
clothed with purity, yea, even with the 
robe of righteousness." (2 Ne. 9:14.) 

The most profound and marvelous 
revelations that exist on life after 
death and the final destiny of man 
were received by the Prophet Joseph 
Smith. They are recorded in Sections 
76, 88, 131, and 132 of the Doctrine 
and Covenants. In addition, other vi- 
sions he had on the immortality of 
man are not recorded in the Doctrine 
and Covenants. 

God revealed to the Prophet that 
there are three degrees of glory — the 
celestial, the terrestrial, and the teles- 
tial. If a person's body at the resur- 
rection is "quickened by a portion of 
the celestial glory," he shall later re- 
ceive a fullness of that glory. The 
same holds true for the other two 
degrees of glory. On February 16, 
1832, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon 
were translating the Bible at Hiram, 
Ohio, when they had a marvelous 

"And while we meditated upon these 
things, the Lord touched the eyes of 
our understandings and they were 
opened, and the glory of the Lord 
shone round about. 

"And we beheld the glory of the Son, 
on the right hand of the Father, and 
received of his fulness; 

"And saw the holy angels, and them 
who are sanctified before his throne, 
worshiping God, and the Lamb, who 
worship him forever and ever. 

"And now, after the many testimonies 
which have been given of him, this 
is the testimony, last of all, which we 
give of him: That he lives! 

"For we saw him, even on the right 
hand of God; and we heard the voice 
bearing record that he is the Only 
Begotten of the Father — 

"That by him, and through him, . . . 
the worlds are and were created, and 
the inhabitants thereof are begotten 
sons and daughters unto God." (D&C 

Who will go to the celestial degree 
of glory and live with the Father and 
the Son? 

From another vision of celestial glory 
had by Joseph Smith, we receive the 
following information: 

"And I also beheld that all children 
who die before they arrive at the years 
of accountability, are saved in the 
celestial kingdom of heaven." (Docu- 
mentary History of the Church, vol. 2, 
p. 381.) 

By revelation the Lord set the age 

eight as the age of accountability for 
little children. (D&C 68:27.) 

In addition to little children, others 
who go to the celestial glory are those 
who receive a testimony of Jesus, in 
other words, the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
They must be baptized by immersion 
in water and receive the Holy Ghost by 
one having authority. Also, they must 
keep the commandments, and be those 
who are "overcome by faith and are 
sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, 
which the Father sheds forth upon all 
those who are just and true." (D&C 

Certainly many of the people in 
celestial glory will be holders of the 
holy Melchizedek Priesthood. 

"In the celestial glory there are three 
heavens or degrees; 

"And in order to obtain the highest, 
a man must enter into this order of the 
priesthood [meaning the new and ever- 
lasting covenant of marriage] ; 

"If he does not, he cannot obtain it. 

"He may enter into the other, but 
that is the end of his kingdom; he 
cannot have an increase." (D&C 

The Lord has declared that the hon- 
orable people of the earth who do not 
accept the true gospel of Jesus Christ 
will go to the terrestrial glory. 

The wicked people of the earth who 
have not denied the Holy Ghost — 
"they who are thrust down to hell . . . 
until the last resurrection" — will be 
assigned to the telestial glory. 

The people who commit the unpar- 
donable sins of denying the Holy Ghost 
or shedding innocent blood shall be 
cast off with the devil and die the 
second death. 

Where do we go when we die? It 
depends on how we live while here in 
mortality, and how much light and 
truth we receive, and how much op- 
portunity we have had. Also, for those 
who have not had a chance to hear the 
gospel while here in mortality, they 
will have an opportunity in the spirit 
world and temple work will be done 
for them. The Lord revealed to the 
Prophet Joseph Smith: 

"All who have died without a knowl- 
edge of this Gospel, who would have 
received it if they had been permitted 
to tarry, shall be heirs to the celestial 
kingdom of God: also all that shall die 
henceforth without a knowledge of 
it, who would have received it with 
all their hearts, shall be heirs of the 
kingdom for I, the Lord,, will judge all 
men, . . . according to the desires of 
their hearts." (DHC, vol. 2, p. 380.) 

I bear testimony that the true gospel 
of Jesus Christ has been restored to 
earth again. It is found in The Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Q 

December 1969 


:: ■ 

'"«-<: : "1' "T: \\-sM : m:":^- 

::::... . 

: ... 

The Rock of Salvation 

Bruce R. McConkie 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 

" " :' ., 

• I am grateful beyond any power of 
expression that I have for the knowl- 
edge that is in my heart of the truth 
and divinity of this great work. I am 
thankful for the testimony of Jesus, for 
the whisperings of the Spirit that have 
come to my soul certifying that this 
kingdom, the Church, is God's king- 
dom on earth; and I desire to bear that 
witness, not in words only but also by 
my acts, to be in word and in deed a 
witness to the world of the truth and 
divinity of the gospel cause — all in 
harmony with the instructions we have 
received in our revelations. 

Will you join with me in considering 
these eternal truths: 

True religion comes by revelation; 
there is no other source. 

Where there is true religion, there is 
revelation; and where there is no reve- 
lation, there is no true religion. 

God reveals himself or he remains 
forever unknown. 

He is our Father in heaven; we are 
his spirit children, and he ordained 
the laws whereby we can advance and 
progress and become like him. 

He is the author of the plan of salva- 
tion, which his servant Paul designates 
as "the gospel of God, . . . Concerning 
his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 
1:1, 3.) 

He has revealed this plan of salvation 
in successive gospel dispensations, and 
he is revealing his mind and his will 
today, thereby showing that he is the 
same God yesterday, today, and for- 
ever, and that a soul is just as precious 
in his sight in this day as in any age. 

Thus true religion comes from God, 
and from no other source. 

It is his priesthood that administers 
the gospel. It is his power that gov- 
erns his church. 

It is at his direction that the gospel 
is preached and that the gifts of the 
Spirit are poured out upon the faithful. 

His is the power by which miracles 
are wrought, by which the sick are 

healed and the dead raised. 

He seals men up unto eternal life. 

He makes men joint heirs with his 

He gives them the fullness of his 
glory and kingdom. 

He is the source of all things, of 
every true principle, of every saving 
truth, of revealed religion, and without 
revelation from him there is no true 
church, no true religion, and no per- 
sonal salvation. 

God sends apostles and prophets, 
wise and holy men who have the 
spiritual talent to commune with him, 
to receive in their hearts his mind and 
will, and then to communicate these 
eternal truths to their fellowmen. 
Joseph Smith was one of the greatest 
of these, and we have living apostles 
and prophets today who make the 
truths of salvation available to us as a 
people and to all who will come and 
join with us. 

But people are not saved en masse. 
Salvation is personal and individual. 
Religion must come to one man stand- 
ing alone, independent of all others. 

If I am to be saved, I personally must 
believe and obey the true religion. 

I must get religion into my own heart 
and soul. 

What the Prophet Joseph Smith saw 
and believed and knew will not suffice. 
True, his revelations make salvation 
available to me; they open the door. 
But I must see and believe and know 
for myself. 

I must know God. 

I must learn the truths of salvation. 

I must, feel the power of his priest- 

I must receive the gifts of his Spirit. 

I must be born again. 

I must receive revelation. 

No man can be saved unless and 
until he receives revelation. Revelation 
is the rock foundation upon which true 
religion and personal salvation rest. 
Peter learned by personal revelation 

that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the 
living God, the Holy Messiah, through 
whose atoning sacrifice salvation is 
offered to men. Then the Lord told 
him that upon this rock of revelation 
he would build his church. 

If I do not build upon this rock, if 
I do not receive the same testimony of 
our Lord's divine Sonship that Peter 
gained, if I do not know by the power 
of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the 
Lord, if I do not have the testimony of 
Jesus, that is, if I do not receive revela- 
tion, I have not received true religion, 
and I shall have no abiding inheritance 
in that church and kingdom which is 
founded upon the rock of revelation. 

In our day, in this final gospel dis- 
pensation, the revealed knowledge of 
the truth and divinity of the work in- 
cludes the heaven-sent assurance that 
Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, that 
he is the revealer of the knowledge of 
Christ and of salvation to the world 

The first great revelation which men 
must receive if they are to gain salva- 
tion is the revelation of the divine Son- 
ship of Christ, which knowledge is 
coupled with the Spirit-born assurance 
that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. 
This revelation is called a testimony of 
the gospel. 

But a testimony is only the begin- 
ning of revelation. The recipient has 
just begun to drink at the fountain of 
revealed truth. He has but opened the 
door to an immeasurably great store- 
house of spiritual knowledge. 

The great things that set the Lord's 
saints apart from the world are, first, 
that they know by revelation that the 
work in which they are engaged is 
true, that they have testimonies of its 
divinity, and, second, that they then 
receive added personal revelation con- 
cerning many things. 

At their baptism, God's saints have 
the hands of legal administrators 


Improvement Era 

placed upon their heads, and they re- 
ceive the gift of the Holy Ghost, an 
endowment from on high. This endow- 
ment, this gift, is the right to the con- 
stant companionship of this member 
of the Godhead based on faithfulness. 

Joseph Smith said: "No man can re- 
ceive the Holy Ghost without receiving 
revelations. The Holy Ghost is a 
revelator." (Teachings of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith, p. 328.) 

Accordingly, those who are saints 
indeed, those who -have been born 
again, those who are so living as to be 
in tune with the Spirit — they are they 
who receive revelation, personal revela- 
tion, revelation which is the mind and 
will of God to them as individuals. 
They know there are apostles and 
prophets directing the kingdom who re- 
ceive revelation for the Church and 
the world. But they as individuals re- 
ceive personal revelation in their own 

And there are no restrictions placed 
upon them; there are no limitations as 
to what they may see and know and 
comprehend. No eternal truths will 
be withheld, if they obey the laws 
entitling them to receive such truths. 

Joseph Smith and the prophets had 
revelation. They saw God, viewed the 
visions of eternity, entertained angels, 
came upon Mount Zion, stood in heav- 
enly places, and had communion with 
the general assembly and Church of 
the Firstborn. 

Of these very experiences Joseph 
Smith said: ". . . God hath not revealed 
anything to Joseph, but what He will 
make known unto the Twelve, and 
even the least Saint may know all 
things as fast as he is able to bear 
them." (ibid,, p. 149.) 

Now let me read the words of a 
revelation, the words of the Lord God 
himself, the very words of Deity. These 
words, spoken to Joseph Smith, an- 
nounce that revelation is for all men, 
that every faithful member of the 
Church can commune with his Maker, 
without limit and without restraint. 

They are: "For thus saith the Lord — 
I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious 
unto those who fear me, and delight 
to honor those who serve me in righ- 
teousness and in truth unto the end. 

"Great shall be their reward and 
eternal shall be their glory. 

"And to them will I reveal all mys- 
teries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of 
my kingdom from days of old, and for 
ages to come, will I make known unto 
them the good pleasure of my will con- 
cerning all things pertaining to my 

"Yea, even the wonders of eternity 
shall they know, and things to come 
will I show them, even the things of 
many generations. 

"And their wisdom shall be great, 
and their understanding reach to heav- 
en; and before them the wisdom of the 
wise shall perish, and the understand- 
ing of the prudent shall come to 

"For by my Spirit will I enlighten 
them, and by my power will I make 
known unto them the secrets of my 
will — yea, even those things which eye 
has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet 
entered into the heart of man." (D&C 

Thus we learn that any man who 
obeys the law entitling him to receive 
revelation shall see and hear and know 
for himself. Revelation for the Church 
comes through those who are prophets, 
seers, and revel ators to the Church, but 
personal revelation, revelation for the 
guidance of the individual, revelation 
which says to a man and a woman, 
"Son, daughter, thou shalt be exalted; 
thou shalt have part and lot in my 
kingdom," this revelation comes to 
them as individuals, alone and apart 
from all others. 

Joseph Smith received this revelation: 
"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall 
come to pass that every soul who for- 
saketh his sins and cometh unto me, 
and calleth on my name, and obeyeth 
my voice, and keepeth my command- 
ments, shall see my face and know 
that I am." (D&C 93:1.) 

Among those who complied with the 
law of righteousness here revealed was 
the brother of Jared, a prophet who 
lived some 2,000 years before our Lord's 
birth into mortality. Of the vision 
which he saw, Moroni says: ". . . be- 
cause of the knowledge of this man he 
could not be kept from beholding with- 
in the veil; and he saw . . . the Lord; 
and he had faith no longer, for he 
knew, nothing doubting. 

"Wherefore, having this perfect 
knowledge of God, he could not be 
kept from within the veil; therefore he 
saw Jesus; and he did minister unto 
him." (Ether 3:19-20.) 

From these revelations we learn that 
there are no limitations placed upon 
any of us. Revelations are not reserved 
for a limited few or for those called to 
positions of importance in the Church. 
It is not position in the Church that 
confers spiritual gifts. It is not being 
a bishop, a stake president, or an apos- 
tle that makes revelation and salvation 
available. These are high and holy 
callings which open the door to the 
privilege of great service among men. 
But it is not a call to a special office 
that opens the windows of revelation lu 
a truth seeker. Rather it is personal 
righteousness; it is keeping the com- 
mandments; it is seeking the Lord 
while he may be found. 

God is no respecter of persons. He 

will give revelation to me and to you 
on the same terms and conditions. I 
can see what Joseph Smith and Sidney 
Rigdon saw in the vision of the degrees 
of glory — and so can you. I can enter- 
tain angels and see God, I can receive 
an outpouring of the gifts of the Spirit 
— and so can you. 

There are goals to gain, summits to 
climb, revelations to receive. In the 
eternal scope of things we have scarcely 
started out on the course to glory and 
exaltation. The Lord wants his saints 
to receive line upon line, precept upon 
precept, truth upon truth, revelation 
upon revelation, until we know all 
things and have become like him. 

Let us press forward in making our 
callings and elections sure, until, as 
Joseph Smith said, we shall have the 
personage of Jesus Christ to attend us, 
or to appear to us from time to time, 
and until even he will manifest the 
Father unto us. (See Teachings of the 
Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151.) 

I know man can commune with his 
Maker, can petition the throne of grace 
and receive answers to his prayers, be- 
cause I have done so. 

I know man can receive revelations, 
because I have received them. God has 
spoken to me, not for the guidance of 
the Church, not for your benefit, but 
for mine. The same thing has or can 
or should happen in the life of every 
member of his kingdom. 

God be praised that, unworthy 
though we are, he stands ready to and 
does in fact reveal himself to those of 
us who are sons and daughters in his 

Now in this day in which we live 
we have been appointed to stand as 
witnesses of the truth. Our elders go 
forth proclaiming the message of the 
restoration to the world. They go out 
to teach and to testify. When the Lord 
sends them forth, it is with this com- 
mission: ". . . ye are my witnesses, 
saith the Lord, that I am God." (Isa. 
43:12.) And since God stands revealed 
or remains forever unknown, there is no 
way on earth or in heaven for anyone 
to come to a knowledge of him unless 
he receives a personal revelation of 
God or unless he hearkens to the voice 
of witnesses who have received reve- 

Man can and will receive revelation 
from the Holy Ghost if he heeds the 
testimony that is borne by the living 
witnesses who are sent forth to raise 
their voices and to proclaim the ever- 
lasting gospel. 

As elders in Israel we are expected 
to be witnesses. We become witnesses 
because of personal revelation. When 
a man receives the surety in his heart 
that this work is true, when he gains a 
testimony by the power of the Holy 

December 1969 


Ghost, then he knows what the world 
does not know, and he can go forth 
and bear record of it to them. 

We are not concerned particularly 
or especially with the matter of in- 
tellectuality. Everything pertaining to 
the gospel is rational and reasonable. 
It is intellectual in the sense that we 
can sustain it by sense and reason and 
wisdom, but religion is something far 
more than intellectuality. Religion is a 
matter of revelation, of spirituality. 
Religion comes from God, and those 
who receive it become living witnesses 
of its truth and divinity. 

And so there rests upon me and upon 
you, and upon all the elders of Israel, 
the obligation to testify of the truth 
and divinity of the work, and we can 
do it because we have received the 
revelations of the Holy Spirit to our 
souls certifying that the work is true. 

Now I as one elder in Israel can 
stand alone, independent of all others — 
but there are thousands in a like cate- 
gory — and I can bear testimony of the 
truth and the divinity of this work 
because the Holy Spirit has spoken to 
the spirit within me. The whisperings 
of the still small voice have come to 
my soul, and have told me that there 
is a God in heaven who is infinite and 
eternal, from everlasting to everlasting. 
They have told me that he chose his 
Only Begotten Son, the Firstborn in the 
spirit, Jesus our Lord, to be the Savior 
and the Redeemer of the world; that 
he sent his Son into the world — born 
of Mary and born of him, thus- inherit- 
ing the power of mortality and the 

power of immortality — so that he could 
work out the infinite and eternal aton- 
ing sacrifice, so that he could bring to 
pass immortality for all men, and make 
eternal life available for those who 
believe and obey. 

And not alone has the Spirit whis- 
pered to me that these great eternal 
verities, which come by the grace of 
God, are true; it has certified to my 
soul that the heavens have been opened 
in this day; that God has spoken anew; 
that Joseph Smith was called of him, 
anointed and empowered and endowed 
with power from on high, and com- 
missioned to begin the rolling forth 
of this final, great, glorious dispen- 

Now a testimony of the gospel to be 
effective, to be in force, to have power 
and efficacy and validity, has to be 
brought up to date. It is not enough 
for someone to know that Jesus is the 
Lord and that Joseph Smith was a 
prophet of God. A testimony has to 
be a current, living thing. And so I 
certify that I know, as do thousands 
of you, that those who preside over 
this church at this time — with Presi- 
dent David O. McKay at the head, his 
counselors in the Presidency, and these 
great brethren who comprise the Coun- 
cil of the Twelve and the Patriarch 
to the Church — are prophets, seers, 
and revelators. They hold the keys of 
the kingdom. The power is in their 
hands to have the message of salva- 
tion presented in all the world. 

I have sufficient background and un- 
derstanding that I could reason these 

things out from the revelations. I could 
read the scriptures and ascertain that 
all this is accurate and sensible, that it 
is logical and rational, but what I am 
now saying is something that is in ad- 
dition to that. It is very helpful to 
have a knowledge of the gospel and be 
able to reason on the principles of 
eternal truth; it is helpful in that it 
leads to a testimony of the divinity of 
the work. But what I am now saying 
is that I am a witness of the truth and 
the divinity of the work because the 
Holy Spirit has revealed to the spirit 
that is in me that this is God's work, 
that this Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints is the only true and 
living church upon the face of the 
whole earth. (D&C 1:30.) 

Now we have a revelation that says, 
in effect, that in order to be saved in 
the kingdom of God, we must be valiant 
in testimony. It is not enough to have a 
testimony, a knowledge of the divinity 
of the work, but it is a glorious thing 
to start there. In order to gain an in- 
heritance in the celestial world, we 
have to be valiant in testimony, and 
we have to manifest that valiance by 
keeping the commandments of God. 
God grant us the fortitude and courage 
and wisdom to seek him while he may 
be found, to learn for ourselves that 
he is the Lord and that this is his work, 
and then give us the determination to 
press forward in steadfastness and de- 
votion, until in fact and in reality we 
do make our callings and elections sure. 

In the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. Q 

Saturday evening priesthood session, October 4, 1969 

To Be in the Service 

of Our Fellowmen Is to Be in 

the Service of Our God 

President David O. McKay 

(Read by his son David Lawrence McKay) 


• My beloved brethren, it has always 
been my nature to enjoy the company 
of my associates. I love with my 

The older I grow the more intense than ever before, as I can be with you 

becomes my appreciation of fellowship only in spirit; but still I feel that it is 

in the brotherhood of Christ. I sense one of the most inspirational experiences 

that tonight more deeply more sincerely in life to associate, even in spirit, with 


Improvement Era 

men who hold the Holy Priesthood. 

Recently, as I have read the reports 
of the brethren who have returned 
from touring the missions, my heart 
has been thrilled at the great latter-day 
work that is being accomplished — espe- 
cially the great missionary cause in 
which we are engaged. And I say this 
not only to our over twelve thousand 
missionaries serving in the 88 missions 
of the Church, but also to this great 
body of priesthood. Ours is the re- 
sponsibility — greater than ever before: 

1. To proclaim that the Church was 
divinely established by the appearance 
of God the Father and his Son Jesus 
Christ to the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
and that divine authority through the 
priesthood is given to represent Deity 
in establishing Christ's Church upon 
the earth. 

2. To proclaim that its assigned re- 
sponsibility is to fulfill the admonition 
of Jesus to his apostles: "Go ye there- 
fore, and teach all nations, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father, and 
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

"Teaching them to observe all things 
whatsoever I have commanded you: 
and, lo, I am with you alway, even 
unto the end of the world. Amen." 
(Matt. 28:19-20.) 

3. To proclaim peace and goodwill 
unto all mankind. 

4. To exert every effort and all 
means within our reach to make evil- 
thinking men good, and good men 
better, and all people happier. 

5. To proclaim the truth that each 
individual is a child of God and im- 
portant in his sight; that he is entitled 
to freedom of thought, freedom of 
speech, freedom of assembly; that he 
has the right to worship God according 
to the dictates of his conscience. In 
this positive declaration, we imply- 
that organizations or churches that 
deprive the individual of these inherent 
rights are not in harmony with God's 
will and with his revealed word. 

There is no teaching of morality 
without personality, and the best 
means of preaching the gospel is by 
your personal contact. Personal con- 
tact is what will influence those in- 
vestigators. That personal contact — 
the nature of it, its effect — depends 
upon you. That is the thing I wish to 
emphasize. Each one should remem- 
ber that somewhere there is an honest 
soul waiting to hear the truth, and it 
may be that you are the only one who 
can reach that inquiring soul. 

Members of the Church are or can 
be effective missionaries. We saw that 
exemplified in Great Britain in 1923. 
Before that time the elders were using 
the newspapers, and the British news- 
papers were very antagonistic. They 
refused to publish the truth about the 

Church. After we had won the favor 
of the press, we decided to put this 
challenge to the members of the 
Church: "This year we should like 
every member in the British Mission 
to bring into the Church at least one 
member. It may be your mother, it 
may be your father, it may be a child, 
it may be a neighbor, it may be one 
of your associates in business, but these 
and others know you, and so prejudice 
is largely removed from their hearts — 
that is, if your personality radiates the 
principles of the gospel so as to bring 
confidence to the hearts of the indi- 
vidual." And if you look at the rec- 
ords in Great Britain for 1923, you 
will find that there were three times 
the number of converts we had in any 
other previous year for many years. 

Now I challenge you holders of the 
priesthood, as I have done before, and 
as I did to the Saints in Great Britain 
in 1923, to take the responsibility, each 
of you, of bringing one member into 
the Church each year. Think of the 
growth of the kingdom of God if just 
you holders of the priesthood within 
the sound of my voice accept that 

We are all missionaries. We may 
drop a word here, bear our testimony, 
be an exemplar by what we do; and, as 
we accept this call and discharge our 
duties in the stakes, wards, quorums, 
and the mission field, our acts will 
"roll from soul to soul and go forever 
and forever." 

I have said that personality is a very 
important factor in removing preju- 
dice and in bringing investigators. 
However, that personality must be such 
that we radiate confidence; and unless 
our actions are in harmony with our 
pretensions, our personality will pro- 
duce a disappointment instead of con- 
fidence. This means, therefore, that 
you brethren carry the responsibility 
of preaching the gospel by your actions 
even more than by your words. 

There is one responsibility that no 
man can evade. That is the responsi- 
bility of personal influence. The effect 
of your words and acts is tremendous 
in this world. Every moment of life 
you are changing to a degree the life 
of the whole world. Every man has 
an atmosphere or a radiation that is 
affecting every person in the world. 
You cannot escape it. Into the hands of 
every individual is given a marvelous 
power for good or for evil. It is simply 
the constant radiation of what a man 
really is. Every man by his mere living 
is radiating positive or negative quali- 
ties. Life is a state of radiation. To 
exist is to be the radiation of our feel- 
ings, natures, doubts, schemes, or to be 
the recipient of those things from some- 
body else. You cannot escape it. Man 

"I challenge you 
to bring one member 

into the Church 

each year" 

cannot escape for one moment the radi- 
ation of his character. You will select 
the qualities that you will permit to 
be radiated. That reminds me of the 
following poem, the author of which 
is unknown. 

"You tell on yourself by the friends 

you seek, 
By the very manner in which you 

By the way you employ your leisure 

By the use you make of dollar and 

You tell what you are by the things you 

And even by the way you wear your 

By the kind of things at which you 

By the records you play on your phono- 
You tell what you are by the way you 

By the things of which you delight to 

By the manner in which you bury 

By so simple a thing as how you eat. 
By the books you choose from the well- 
filled shelf. 
In these ways and more you tell on 


Men and brethren of the priesthood, 
so live your lives that you set the 
proper example to those about you. 
You are a light, and it is your duty 
not to have that light hidden under a 
bushel, but set upon a hill that all 
men may be guided thereby. 

You brethren of the priesthood 
should radiate what our twelve thou- 
sand missionaries should also radiate 
to the nations of the world: 

First, worthiness. This means that 
every man is a Christian gentleman; 
that he has integrity, is honest and 
trustworthy; that every husband is 

December 1969 


true to the ideals of chastity; that every 
young man refrains from indulgence in 
tobacco, in strong drink or drugs, and 
keeps himself free from the sins of the 
world; that every man is worthy to 
represent our Lord and Savior Jesus 

Second, testimony. Every member of 
the Church should be converted and 
have a knowledge of the gospel, in- 
cluding a knowledge of the scriptures. 
How wonderful it would be if every 
member of the Church could, as Peter 
of old, "sanctify the Lord God in your 
hearts: and be ready always to give an 
answer to every man that asketh you a 
reason of the hope that is in you. . . ." 
(1 Pet. 3:15.) A man must know what 
he teaches before he can effectively 
teach it to others! 

Third, service. Are you willing to 
serve? Do you have the vision King 
Benjamin had when he said, ". . . 
when ye are in the service of your 
fellow beings, ye are only in the 
service of your God"? (Mosiah 2:17.) 
True Christianity is love in action. 
There is no better way to manifest 
love for God than to show an un- 
selfish love for one's fellowmen. That 
is the spirit of missionary work! 

And fourth, inspiration — the seeking 
of divine guidance through prayer. 
When one senses the glory of the 
gospel, when one realizes how compre- 
hensive it is and what a great guide 
it is to a true philosophy of living, he 
senses his own need for help and 
guidance. That is the fourth help in 
the performance of missionary work — 
guidance through prayer! 

Especially to you young men in the 
Aaronic Priesthood as you begin from 
the time you are deacons to prepare to 
serve full-time missions for our 
Father in heaven, may I relate this 

There once was an ancient king who 
called a young man to him and said, 
"Youth, I have a precious gift that I 
must ask you to carry to the nations of 
the world, to all the people of the 
uttermost parts." 

"O king," said the youth, "I am 
young. The world today says youth 
is not worthy; youth is frivolous with 
no aim. Can you trust youth with 
your precious girt?" 

The king answered, "The world is 
wrong in misjudging youth. Youth 
has always met with a high courage 
whatever life brings. Youth is filled 
with hope; youth is joyous and happy." 

"Then," said the youth, "I will try, 
and I shall succeed." 

"That is well," said the king. "My 
gift is very precious. You must bear 
it to all the people, and they can keep 
it only as they give it away." 

"I do not understand," replied the 


The king said, "My son, my gift can 
neither be bought, nor weighed, nor 
measured. The young and the old, the 
rich and the poor, all have need of this 

"I implore you, O king, give it to 

Then the king spoke more firmly: 
"Underneath all new things are the 
things that never change. They are: 
the beauty of honor, the joy of service, 
the sublimity of integrity and sacrifice. 
O youth, the hope of the world rests 
in these tnree things and the change- 
less things that I am naming for you. 
Remember, skies grow dark, birds 
sleep, winds moan, yet you must go on 
far afield in the spirit of those chang- 
less things. You will grow weary, 
you will not understand, you will 
climb the steep heights and be carried 
down to the depths, you will visit 
palaces and hovels, you will go to 
workers, you will go to loungers, 
to those who weep and to those who 

And the youth said, "O king, how 
shall I find my way?" 

And the king answered, "I will give 
you two things: first, a lantern of 
tolerance to light your way, and sec- 
ond, a magic cloud to bear the burdens 
that beset you." 

The youth said, "I am ready. Give 
me the gift." 

And the king said, "The precious gift 
is peace, my son. Peace through toler- 
ance and peace through helpfulness — 
one hand clasped in mine and the 
other outstretched to all humanity." 

That king might well have been the 
King of the world, Jesus Christ, and 
the young man might well have been 
you, my young fellow workers in the 
Church of Christ. The Lord and Savior 
Jesus Christ will ask you to go to all 
the world and preach the gospel. You 
will be given higher authority than 
you now have to represent the Savior, 
just as the king gave that young man 
a commandment to take a message of 
peace. In order to bring peace to the 
hearts of men in the world, take this 
message, my brethren. The people you 
teach must have these great truths in 

First, teach faith in the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and accepting him as the Only 
Begotten Son of the Father, who came 
and redeemed all men from death, all 
men, and who established the princi- 
ples of the gospel, by obedience to 
which men may gain salvation in his 
kingdom. And as Peter said before 
the judges in the Sanhedrin, ". . . there 
is none other name under heaven 
given among men, whereby we must 
be saved." (Acts 4:12.) Young men, 
take that message and instill faith in 

the hearts of the people of the world 
in God our Father and his Son Jesus 
Christ — faith that Christ's Church has 
been established in this age, through 
the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he estab- 
lished it in the former days when 
Peter, James, and John lived as leaders. 

The second plan that you are to 
teach, young men, is kindness toward 
all men. You cannot have enmity in 
your hearts toward any one man. Some 
men may try to deprive you of your 
privileges, but you keep kindness in 
your heart and prove to the world that 
you have the spirit of the lowly 
Nazarene who preached to the poor on 
the Sea of Galilee. With faith, with 
kindness, let your heart be filled with 
the desire to serve all mankind. The 
spirit of the gospel comes from service 
in the good of others. Listen to that 
paradoxical saying of the Son of Man: 
"For whosoever will save his life shall 
lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life 
for my sake and the gospel's, the same 
shall save it." (Mark 8:35.) 

My dear young brethren of the 
Aaronic Priesthood, prepare for that 
day when you will go out into the 
world to preach the gospel of Jesus 
Christ; and, as you prepare, you will 
so radiate that you will truly be mis- 
sionaries here at home, here and now. 

The responsibility of the Church is 
to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as 
restored to the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
not only to preach it and proclaim it 
by word, by distribution of literature, 
but more than anything else by living 
the gospel in our homes and in our 
business dealings, having faith and 
testimony in our hearts, and radiating 
it wherever we go. 

Brethren, there is nothing that can 
stop the progress of truth excepting 
only our weaknesses or failure to do 
our duty. 

In conclusion, let me urge more dili- 
gence in living and radiating the prin- 
ciples of the gospel. The older I grow 
the more thrilled and more grateful 
I am for the Church of Jesus Christ, 
and the more impressed I am with the 
importance of declaring this truth to 
the world. 

God bless the missionary cause, not 
merely to increase our membership — 
that will follow inevitably — but to 
declare the restoration of the gospel of 
Jesus Christ, the divinity of the life, 
death, and resurrection of our Lord 
and Savior. Upon you, my fellow 
workers, and the two-and-one-half 
million members of the Church, rests 
the responsibility of declaring to the 
world the divine Sonship of Jesus 

Now, there are many who believe 
it is true. There are millions of honest 
souls who believe it, but they need men 


Improvement Era 

and women who will declare it, and 
declare that they have a testimony of 
that truth. 

I bear you that testimony tonight. I 
know our Lord and Savior is at the 
head of this church, that he is guid- 
ing it. I know it as I know I live. I 
know that he with his Father restored 
this gospel as it was given in ' the 
meridian of time in its simplicity, in 
its beauty, in its divinity. I know that 
these brethren, constituting the General 

Authorities, are true servants of the 
Lord. I know that there are thousands 
— hundreds of thousands — of men and 
women in the Church who have that 
testimony. I pray that we may use the 
means that have been put into our 
hands to harvest the rich group of 
souls waiting to hear this message. 

Paul said he heard a voice calling 
him over into Macedonia, and he went 
into Europe and found honest souls 
waiting. We hear the voice calling, 

not only in Europe and Macedonia, 
but here at home and in the utter- 
most ends of the earth, "Come and give 
us the gospel." 

God help us to heed that call — an- 
swer it, that we may harvest the crop 
of honest souls to the glory of the Lord, 
who said, ", . . this is my work and 
my glory — to bring to pass the immor- 
tality and eternal life of man" (Moses 
1:39), I humbly pray in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. Q 



Messengers of Glory 


Thomas S. Monson 
Of the Council of the Twelve 

• Twice each year this historic taber- 
nacle seems to say to us, with its per- 
suasive voice: "Come all ye sons of God 
who have received the priesthood." 
There is a characteristic spirit that per- 
vades the general priesthood meeting of 
the Church. This spirit emanates from 
the Tabernacle and enters every build- 
ing where the sons of God assemble. 

Some 13,000 of our number are ab- 
sent tonight, but they are not beyond 
our love nor our prayers. In response to 
a call from God's prophet, they have 
left behind home, family, friends, and 
school, and gone forward to serve in 
his harvest fields so wide. Men of the 
world ask the question: "Why do they 
respond so readily and willingly give 
so much?" Our missionaries, your sons, 
your brothers could well answer in the 
words of Paul, that peerless missionary 
of an earlier day: "For though I preach 
the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: 
for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe 
is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" 
(1 Cor. 9:16.) 

The holy scriptures contain no proc- 
lamation more relevant, no responsi- 
bility more binding, no instruction 
more direct than the injunction given 
by the resurrected Lord as he appeared 

in Galilee to the 11 disciples. Said he: 
"All power is given unto me in heaven 
and in earth. 

"Go ye therefore, and teach all na- 
tions, baptizing them in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost: 

"Teaching them to observe all things 
whatsoever I have commanded you: 
and lo, I am with you alway, even 
unto the end of the world." (Matt. 

This divine command, coupled with 
its glorious promise, is our watchword 
today as in the meridian of time. Mis- 
sionary work is an identifying feature 
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Lat- 
ter-day Saints. It has always been 
so; it shall ever be. As the prophet 
Joseph Smith declared: "After all that 
has been said, the greatest and most 
important duty is to preach the Gospel." 
(Documentary History of the Church, 
Vol. 2, p. 478.) 

Within two short years, all 13,000 
missionaries in this royal army of God 
will conclude their full-time labors 
and return to their homes and loved 
ones. Their replacements are found 
tonight in the ranks of the Aaronic 
Priesthood of the Church. Young men, 

are you ready to respond? Are you 
willing to work? Are you prepared to 
serve? Mediocrity is not in fashion. 
Excellence is the order of the day. 

President John Taylor summed up 
the requirements: "The kind of men 
we want as bearers of this gospel mes- 
sage are men who have faith in God; 
men who have faith in their religion; 
men who honor their priesthood; men 
in whom the people who know them 
have faith, and in whom God has con- 
fidence. . . . We want men full of the 
Holy Ghost and the power of God. . . . 
Men who bear the words of life among 
the nations ought to be men of honor, 
integrity, virtue and purity; and this 
being the command of God to us, we 
shall try to carry it out." 

Now that is quite a demanding de- 
scription. Especially is it so when I 
reflect upon several of the young and 
inexperienced missionaries who came 
to the mission where I had the privilege 
to preside. I shall ever remember the 
bewilderment of one boy from down 
on the farm when he first gazed at the 
skyscrapers of Toronto. He inquired 
of me: "President, how many people in 
this here town?" I answered: "Oh, about 
a million and a half." To which he re- 

December 1969 


sponded, "Goll-cc! There are only 
eighty in my home town." 

That evening in our traditional get- 
acquainted testimony meeting, some of 
the veteran missionaries expressed 
themselves regarding the difficulty of 
the work. "Doors will slam in your 
face, abusive language will be hurled 
toward you, you'll get discouraged and 
downhearted; but when it's all over, 
you will say, 'These have been the 
happiest two years of my life.' ' 

My missionary from the small town 
was more hesitant than ever as he spoke 
falteringly: "I'll be glad when the 
happiest two years of my life are over." 

At best, missionary work necessitates 
drastic adjustment to one's pattern of 
living. No other labor requires longer 
hours or greater devotion, nor such 
sacrifice and fervent prayer. As a re- 
sult, dedicated missionary service re- 
turns a dividend of eternal joy that 
extends throughout life and into 

Today our challenge is to be more 
profitable servants in the Lord's vine- 

May I suggest, particularly to you 
bearers of the Aaronic Priesthood, a 
formula that will insure your success: 

First: Search the scriptures with dili- 

Second: Plan your life with purpose! 

Third: Teach the truth with testi- 

Fourth: Serve the Lord with love! 

Let us consider each of the four parts 
of this formula. 

1. Search the scriptures with dili- 

The scriptures testify of God and 
contain the words of eternal life. They 
become the burden of your message — 
even the tools of your trade. Your con- 
fidence will be directly related to your 
knowledge of God's word. Oh, I am 
sure you have heard of some mission- 
aries who were lazy, less than effective, 
and anxious for their missions to 
conclude. A careful examination of 
such instances will reveal that the 
actual culprit is not laziness, nor dis- 
interest, but is the foe known as fear. 
Our Father chastized such: ". . . with 
some I am not well pleased, for they 
will not open their mouths, but they 
hide the talent which I have given 
unto them, because of the fear of man." 
(D&C 60:2. Italics added.) 

Had not this same loving Heavenly 
Father provided a prescription to over- 
come this malady, his words perhaps 
would appear overly harsh. In a revela- 
tion given through Joseph Smith the 
Prophet, January 2, 1831, the Lord de- 
clared: ". . . if ye are prepared ye shall 
not fear." (D&C 38:30.) This is the 
key. Will you use it? 

How grateful am I that the Family 

Home Evening Manual places emphasis 
upon the scriptures. The seminary and 
institute curricula likewise stress the 
scriptures and help the student to in- 
ternalize their vibrancy and meaning. 
The same holds true of the courses 
of study now used by the priesthood 
quorums and the auxiliary organiza- 
tions, all programmed and coordinated 
through the correlation effort of the 

Let me provide but one reference 
that has immediate application to our 
lives. In the Book of Mormon, the 
seventeenth chapter of Alma, we read 
the account of Alma's joy as he once 
more saw the sons of Mosiah and noted 
their steadfastness in the cause of truth. 
The record describes these "mission- 

". . . they had waxed strong in the 
knowledge of the truth; for they were 
men of a sound understanding and 
they had searched the scriptures dili- 
gently, that they might know the word 
of God. 

"But this is not all; they had given 
themselves to much prayer, and fast- 
ing; therefore they had the spirit of 
prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, 
and when they taught, they taught 
with power and authority of God." 
(Al. 17:2-3.) Brethren, search the 
scriptures with diligence. 

2. Plan your life with purpose. 

Perhaps no generation of youth has 
faced such far-reaching decisions as the 
youth of today. Provision must be made 
for school, mission, military, and mar- 
riage. With this thought in mind, the 
First Presidency recently made standard 
throughout the world a two-year length 
of service for each mission. This policy 
permits a young man to plan more 
adequately the time of his departure 
and of his return, that a mission 
might mesh with his educational pur- 

Preparation for a mission begins 
early. It is a wise parent who encour- 
ages young Jimmy to commence even in 
boyhood his personal missionary fund. 
As the fund grows, so does Jimmy's 
desire to serve. He may well be en- 
couraged as the years go by to study a 
foreign language, that if necessary his 
language skills could be utilized. Didn't 
the Lord say, "Teach all nations"? 
(See Matt. 28:19.) 

Then comes that glorious day when 
the bishop invites Jim into his office. 
Worthiness is ascertained; a missionary 
recommendation is completed. There 
follow those anxious moments of won- 
derment and the unspoken question, 
"I wonder where I will be called?" 

During no other crisis does the entire 
family so anxiously watch and wait for 
the mailman and the letter which con- 
tains the return address: 47 East South 

Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. The 
letter arrives, the suspense is over- 
whelming, the call is read. Often the 
assigned field of labor is a far-away- 
place with a strange sounding name — 
Tonga, the Philippines, Japan-Okina- 
wa, to name but a few. More frequently, 
the assignment may be closer to home. 
The response of the prepared mission- 
ary is the same: "7 will serve." 

The experience at the mission home 
is enjoyable, hectic, and helpful. Never 
have you had newer clothing, cleaner 
shirts, nor more uncomfortable shoes. 
You occupy the limelight. It is a touch- 
ing scene to witness parents of modest 
means give so freely to outfit their sons. 
Young men, I hope you appreciate the 
sacrifice which they so willingly make 
for you. Their labors will sustain you, 
their faith encourage you, their prayers 
uphold you. A mission is a family 
affair. Though the expanse of oceans 
may separate, hearts are as one, as 
evidenced by this letter from a mission- 
ary son to his father: 

"Dear Dad: 

"This is my first Christmas away 
from my home and family. I wish that 
I could be home to share the joy, good 
cheer, and the love that come with this 
season; but I am grateful to be here 
in Sweden as a missionary. 

"I'm grateful for my father; I do so 
love, admire, and respect him. His life 
has always been a wonderful example 
to me and has helped countless times 
to make the right decisions. 

"I'm grateful for his wisdom, which 
has counseled me; his love, which has 
disciplined me; and his testimony, 
which has inspired me. 

"How can a son show his love for 
his father? How can he fully express 
what he feels? How can he demonstrate 
his gratitude? I wish I could answer 
these questions. There is, however, 
one way that I know I can show my 
gratitude, and that is by patterning my 
life after that of my father. 

"This, then, is my task — to live a 
life equal to that of my father's, that 
I may spend eternity together with 

"Merrv Christmas and God bless you, 


As you plan with purpose your lives, 
remember that your missionary op- 
portunities are not restricted to the 
period of a formal call. The time you 
spend in military service can and 
should be profitable. Each year, our 
young men in uniform bring thousands 
of souls into the kingdom of God. How 
do they accomplish this marvelous feat? 
They themselves honor their priest- 
hood, live the commandments of God, 
and teach to others his divine word. 


Improvement Era 

Many returned missionaries have testi- 
fied that their missionary experiences 
in the military were equally as bounti- 
ful and richly rewarding as in the 
mission field itself. 

And while pursuing your formal 
education, do not overlook your privi- 
lege to be missionaries. Your example 
as a Latter-day Saint is being observed, 
weighed, and ofttimes will be emulated. 

Make time in your lives and provide 
room in your hearts for school, a mis- 
sion, the military, and, of course, tem- 
ple marriage. Plan your life with 

3. Teach the truth with testimony. 

Obey the counsel of the apostle 
Peter, who urged: ". . . be ready always 
to give an answer to every man that 
asketh you a reason of the hope that is 
in you." (1 Pet. 3:15.) Lift up your 
voices and testify to the true nature of 
the Godhead. Declare your witness 
concerning the Book of Mormon. Con- 
vey the glorious and beautiful truths 
contained in' the plan of salvation. 
Regarding your testimony, remember, 
that which you willingly share you 
keep, while that which you selfishly 
keep you lose. Have the courage and 
the kindness, as did Jesus, to teach the 
Nicodemuses whom you may meet that 
baptism is essential to salvation. Teach 
and testify. There is no better combina- 

Remember our boy from the rural 
community who marveled at the size 
of Toronto? He was short in stature, 
but tall in testimony. Together with 
his companion, he called at the home 
of Elmer Pollard in Oshawa, [Ontario,] 
Canada. Feeling sorry for the young 
men who, during a blinding blizzard, 
were going from house to house, Mr. 
Pollard invited the missionaries into 
his home. They presented to him 
their message. He did not catch the 
spirit. In due time he asked that they 
leave and not return. His last words 
to the elders as they departed his 
front porch were spoken in derision: 
"You can't tell me you actually believe 
Joseph Smith was a prophet of God!" 

The door was shut. The elders 
walked down the path. Our country 
boy spoke to his companion: "Elder, 
we didn't answer Mr. Pollard's ques- 
tion. He said we didn't believe Joseph 
Smith was a true prophet. Let's return 
and bear our testimonies to him." At 
first the more experienced missionary 
hesitated, but finally he agreed to ac- 
company his companion. Fear struck 
their hearts as they approached the 
door from which they had been turned 
away. A knock, the confrontation 
with Mr. Pollard, an agonizing mo- 
ment, then with power, a testimony 
borne by the Spirit: "Mr. Pollard, you 
said we didn't really believe Joseph 

Smith was a prophet of God. Mr. Pol- 
lard, I testify that Joseph was a prophet. 
He did translate the Book of Mormon. 
He saw God the Father and Jesus the 
Son. I know it." 

Mr. Pollard, now Brother Pollard, 
stood in a priesthood meeting some 
time later and declared: "That night I 
could not sleep. Resounding in my ears 
I heard the words: 'Joseph Smith was a 
prophet of God. I know it. I know it. 
I know it.' The next day I telephoned 
the missionaries. Their message, cou- 
pled with their testimonies, changed 
my life and the lives of my family." 
Teach the truth with testimony. 

4. Serve the Lord with love. 

There is no substitute for love. Suc- 
cessful missionaries love their com- 
panions, their mission leaders, and the 
precious persons whom they teach. 
Often this love was kindled in youth 
by a mother, nurtured by a father, and 
kept vibrant through service to God. 

In the fourth section of the Doctrine 
and Covenants, the Lord established 
the qualifications for the labors of the 
ministry. Let us consider but a few 
verses: ". . . O ye that embark in the 
service of God, see that ye serve him 
with all your heart, might, mind and 
strength, that ye may stand blameless 
before God at the last day. 

"And faith, hope, charity and love, 
with an eye single to the glory of God, 
qualify him for the work. 

"Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, 
temperance, patience, brotherly kind- 
ness, godliness, charity, humility, dili- 
gence." (D&C 4:2, 5-6. Italics added.) 

Well might each of us assembled 
here tonight ask himself: Today, have 
I increased in faith, in virtue, in knowl- 
edge, in godliness, in love? 

When our lives comply with God's 
own standard, those within our sphere 
of influence will never speak the la- 
ment: "The harvest is past, the summer 
is ended, and we are not saved." (Jer. 

Through your dedicated devotion at 
home or abroad, those souls whom you 
help to save may well be those whom 
you love the most. 

Several years ago, while touring the 
California Mission, I interviewed a 
missionary who appeared rather de- 

jected and downcast. I asked him if 
he had been sending a letter home to 
his parents each week. He replied: 
"Yes, Brother Monson, each week for 
the last five months." 

I responded: "And do you enjoy the 
letters you receive from home?" 

Came his unexpected answer: "I 
haven't had a letter from home since 
I came on my mission. You see, my 
Dad is inactive and Mother is a non- 
member. She didn't favor my accepting 
a mission call and said that if I went 
into the mission field she would never 
write nor send a dime." With a half 
smile that didn't really disguise the 
heartache, he said: "And she has kept 
her word. What can I do, Brother 

I prayed for inspiration. The an- 
swer came. "Keep writing, son, every 
week. Bear your testimony to Mother 
and to Dad. Let them know you love 
them. Tell them how much the gos- 
pel means to you. And serve the Lord 
with all your heart." 

Six months later when I attended a 
stake conference in that area, this same 
elder ran up to me and asked: "Do you 
remember me? I'm the missionary 
whose parents didn't write." 

I remembered only too well and cau- 
tiously asked if he had received a 
letter from home. 

He reached into his pocket and held 
out to my view a large handful of 
envelopes. With tears streaming down 
his cheeks he declared proudly, "Not 
one letter, Brother Monson, but a letter 
every week. Listen to the latest one: 
'Son, we so much appreciate the work 
you are doing. Since you left for your 
mission our lives have changed. Dad 
attends priesthood meeting and will 
soon be an elder. I have been meeting 
with the missionaries and next month 
will be baptized. Let's make an ap- 
pointment to all be together in the 
Los Angeles Temple one year from now 
as you conclude your mission. Sin- 
cerely, Mother.' ' Love had won its 
victory. Serve the Lord with love. 

Brethren, may each one of us search 
the scriptures with diligence; plan his 
life with purpose; teach the truth with 
testimony; and serve the Lord with 
love. The elements of this formula 

'Ideals are like stars: we 
cannot touch them, but by 

following them, 
we reach our destination" 

December 1969 


then become our ideals. Ideals are like 
the stars: we cannot touch them with 
our hands, but by following them, we 
reach our destination. 

The perfect Shepherd of souls, the 
missionary who redeemed mankind, 
gave us his divine assurance: ". . . If 
it so be that you should labor all your 

days in crying repentance unto this 
people, and bring, save it be one soul 
unto me, how great shall be your joy 
with him in the kingdom of my Father! 
"And now, if your joy will be great 
with one soul that you have brought 
unto me into the kingdom of my 
Father, how great will be your joy if 

you should bring many souls unto me!" 
(D&C 18:15-16.) 

Of him who spoke these words, I de- 
clare my witness. He is the Son of 
God, our Redeemer, and our Savior. 

I pray that we will respond to his 
gentle invitation, "Follow thou me," in 
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. O 

Marion D. Hanks 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 

• I have been thinking about the story 
of a man who was seen running full 
speed toward a river, a broad river. As 
he approached the dock he increased 
his speed and then flung himself with 
all his might into the water maybe ten 
feet, turned around and swam back, 
got out, and was asked by a startled 
onlooker why he had jumped into the 
river. He answered that a friend of his 
had bet him a thousand dollars to one 
that he couldn't jump across the river, 
and after a while he just couldn't stand 
thinking about those odds without at 
least trying. 

It is going to be quite a thing for me 
to talk about something else besides 
missionary work after this great meet- 
ing tonight, but I will try because it is 
my responsibility this evening, under 
assignment, to discuss the Latter-day 
Saints Student Association. 

Under the direction of the First 
Presidency and the Quorum of the 
Twelve and operating with the guid- 
ance of the Correlation Committee and 
the direct supervision and support of 
the Youth Correlation Committee of 
the Church, the Latter-day Saints Stu- 
dent Association functions as a corre- 
lating agency to serve Latter-day Saint 
students on college and university 
campuses across the world. The Stu- 
dent Association presently reaches 
about 285 campuses. Its work is im- 
portant to all college-level students and 

to all those who one day will be; and, 
of course, parents and interested 
adults, bishops, executive secretaries, 
stake presidents, and other Church 
leaders will be deeply concerned, as 
should all Church members. It is our 
earnest hope that all of you who have 
the Student Association in your area 
will discover that and will cooperate 
fully and strengthen its work. 

I would like to talk tonight for a few 
minutes, in order to put this program 
in perspective, about some principles 
and problems and challenges that 
underlie it. Brother Monson has just 
repeated what may be the most sig- 
nificant fundamental principle under- 
lying the work we do. If a few words 
could be thought to reveal the heart of 
the gospel, distill its essence, those 
words might be the ones: "Remember 
the worth of souls is great in the sight 
of God." (D&C 18:10.) Of so much 
worth to God are the souls of men that 
he sent his Holy Son as his agent of 
redemption and of mercy and of hap- 
piness. Of so much worth are the 
souls of men to that Son that he gave 
his life on a cross that we all might 
enjoy the blessings of eternal life and 
lasting relationships with loved ones 
in the progressive, creative future with 
our Eternal Father that we envision 
and believe in. 

In his lifetime Jesus witnessed 
majestically in his teachings his con- 

tinuing interest in and his high valua- 
tion of the individual souls of men. 
Those three great parables in one chap- 
ter of scripture, in answer to a question 
from a critic about why he companied 
with sinners, teach us everlastingly 
how we ought to feel about the lost 
sheep, or the individual child of God, 
because the enfolded 99 and the wan- 
dering one all were important to him, 
and must be to us. And when in the 
parable of the Good Samaritan he 
taught us how we should behave to- 
ward each other, he gave us the objec- 
tive and ideal we ought to be thinking 

It is this great principle, the worth 
of souls in the sight of God, that causes 
the Church, the Lord's instrument, to 
be so very concerned with each age 
level of individual. 

When we think about some of the 
problems that exist in this world today, 
and we think about what happens 
when one honest soul undertakes to 
learn and live the life the Lord wants 
him to, and how he frequently multi- 
plies himself in so many ways in the 
lives of others (as we have seen it 
in missionary work, in the military, in 
teaching, in sports, in civic work, in 
employment), then we know that this 
is in truth the Lord's kingdom, because 
it believes in the worth of souls. 

Let me tell you then about an addi- 
tional effort the Church is making to 


Improvement Era 

reach and assist its college and univer- 
sity students to find spiritual strength 
and balance while they grow in the 
academic and social worlds of uni- 
versity life. 

You are all conscious, to some 
measure, of the situation on the col- 
lege campuses, and President McKay's 
words relating to a survey about that 
as this conference began yesterday. He 
talked about some of the more signifi- 
cant moral problems in the attitudes 
of some young people toward pre- 
marital sex, drugs, and other difficult 
pressures and unrest situations on the 
campus these days. 

Many adults are pessimistic about 
the generation involved, and certainly 
some of their acts indicate that some 
of them are not only radicals but that. 
some are psychotics, disciplined Com- 
munists, or criminals. With them, 
however, are many genuine idealists 
who in the spirit of the times seek 
change toward a better and more lofty 
ethical and moral climate. 

In some measure, I believe, unfor- 
tunately, the cynical words of William 
Butler Yeats written in 1921 seem to 
fit the situation. I repeat only the last 
two lines of a well-known poem: 
"The best lack all conviction, 
While the worst are full of passionate 


But this is true only in a measure. 
Some of those who are not optimistic 
about this generation describe the 
"worst" as wanting to "teach before 
they learn, retire before they work, rot 
before they ripen." (Eric Hoffer.) 

Others, and I am one of them, testify 
that the solid majority of this younger 
generation want to do well, and are 
doing well, but they need help to keep 
from becoming captivated by the 
temptations of this world and by the 
sterile lives of those misguided imita- 
tation men who spend their energies 
fomenting furor and chaos, with no 
expression of their own that I have ever 
heard to improve anything. One won- 
ders what their children will have to 
thank them for. 

It is an established principle through 
the ages that when adult authority 
ceases to function effectively, the young 
are victimized by each other. A com- 
mentator has said it this way: "As adult 
authority distintegrates, the young are 
more and more the captives of each 
other. . . . The problem when adult 
control disappears is that the young's 
control of each other intensifies." 
(David Riesman, Psychology Today, 
September 1969.) 

Where do young Latter-day Saints 
stand in the midst of all of this? I 
would like to bear testimony that they 
are special; they have special chal- 
lenges, but they also have special 

dreams and capacity and preparation, 
and the courage to undertake to bring 
them into reality. I believe that po- 
tentially they are the greatest genera- 
tion in every way, but they need help. 
They need the Church and its great 
principles, its leadership, and its pro- 
gram; and the Church reaches to help 
them in many important ways. 

All of us know, and have tonight and 
several times in this conference had 
reiterated for us, that from the college- 
age group, generally speaking, there are 
at this moment about 13,000 clean, 
decent, committed young Christians 
seeking to teach the gospel and bear 
their witness across the earth. Brother 
[Allen J.] Smith did a great job in 
reminding us of how important that is 
and how wonderfully precious they are. 

At the same hour of which we speak, 
this hour, about twice that many are 
in the military services of the land, 
young Latter-day Saints committed to 
a patriotic sense of responsibility to 
serve their country, and having been 
called to serve are abroad in the world 
doing what they have been asked to do. 
We salute them and thank God that 
the Church with an ever-expanding in- 
terest and a program to express it is 
reaching out to help them, to bring 
them companionship and leadership 
opportunities, to get to them regularly 
through the mail with letters and with 
the literature that will buoy them up 
and strengthen them. Again, I am 
tempted to tell what I know about 
them because I have seen them across 
the earth, in the camps and the far 
places of a terribly difficult land; and 
I testify that they really are, many of 
them, and I would wish all of them, 
devoted, dedicated missionaries and 
servants of the Lord. And the Church 
is seeking to serve them. 

The Church is interested also in 
scores of thousands who aren't in any 
of these categories or in college but 
who work for a living or are otherwise 
involved. However, I am going to 
talk for just a few minutes tonight 
about a number that may surprise you. 
Remember, there are 13,000 or so of 
our wonderful young people in the 
mission field, 26,000 or so in the mili- 
tary, and about 125,000 on college and 
university campuses. Those now at 
school have the usual pressures of cur- 
rent university study, plus the special 
challenge of continuing to mature 
spiritually while they grow academical- 
ly and of attempting to maintain the 
close relationship with the Church that 
they should have while they are giving 
appropriate attention to their school 

We believe, of course, that the 
Church and the gospel and the priest- 
hood have the answers to help these 

young people. The Church has estab- 
lished colleges and a great university, 
involving about 30,000 of them. Insti- 
tutes of religion are available on 
campuses where about 55,000 go. This 
leaves a remainder, but every year 
institutes grow in number and so do 
the people who attend them. Student 
.stakes have been formed in various 
parts of the land, and student wards 
and branches in many places. In these 
great organizations the young lead 
each other in righteous ways. They 
serve and they take part. The auxiliary 
organizations are helping in their in- 
structional and activity programs. 

Then three years ago, with the in- 
spiration of Brother Lee and led by 
Brother Paul Dunn, with the approval 
of the Brethren, a pilot program of the 
Latter-day Saints Student Association 
was invoked. Its purpose was to support 
and strengthen the great work of the 
institutes, the student stakes, the aux- 
iliaries, and other church elements. The 
product of the labors of these great 
youth-serving institutions may not be 
well enough known. Could I give you 
one example. Among all the marriages 
performed for members of student 
stakes last year, 95 percent were in the 
temple. Among institute graduates, 
95 percent were in the temple. Among 
those attending Church colleges and the 
great university, 93 percent were in the 
temple. Of those attending institutes 
but not graduating, 84 percent of the 
marriages were in the temple. Among 
those attending college but not insti- 
tutes of religion, about 50 percent were 
in the temple. The general Church 
average is a little below that. 

Obviously we want to do everything 
we can to get our wonderful young 
students into the institutes of religion 
and to do everything we can to support 
the student wards and stakes and to 
multiply them as conditions permit in 
their great service to students. And 
that is why the Latter-day Saints Stu- 
dent Association was organized. It 
offers a sheltering wing for all Latter- 
day Saint students, active or inactive, 
and we might add, whether they like 
it or not we take them in. It reaches 
out to freshmen and new students, to 
returned missionaries and returned 
servicemen, to the boy and the girl 
from the little town, and the one from 
the big city, to LDS men and women 
in campus fraternities and sororities, to 
Latter-day Saint social groups, to rep- 
resentatives of the institutes and stu- 
dent wards, branches, or stakes, to the 
MIA, to the Relief Society, where ap- 
plicable to married students, and so 
forth. It reaches out to converts, and 
this association has had a mighty and 
wonderful influence in bringing people 
into the Church. 

December 1969 


'Remember that we have about 13,000 
young people as missionaries, 
26,000 in the military, and 125,000 
on college campuses" 

The Student Association forms com- 
mittees to serve various of these groups 
and then it hrings their representatives 
together in counsel in what is called 
the Latter-day Saints student council 
on a campus. Four student leaders are 
selected, interviewed, called, and set 
apart. They preside in the student 
council to which come these other rep- 
resentatives. The student council ad- 
dresses itself to three basic questions: 
(1) What are the needs of the students 
on this campus or in this area? (2) 
How can those needs best be satisfied? 
(3) Which Church agency or institu- 
tion or influence can best undertake 
to solve the problem — which can best 
lead out? 

Of very great importance, the Student 
Association brings to the campus setting 
to help in this process priesthood 
leadership in the form of a stake presi- 
dent. On a campus where there is a 
student stake, the stake president of 
the student stake is generally the 
priesthood leader. Where there is no 
student stake, another great local stake 
president would be assigned that cam- 
pus or the area. This stake president 
is the chairman of what is called the 
executive committee. He presides with 
an educational adviser from the insti- 
tute, with MIA representation, perhaps 
a bishop of a student ward or a branch 
president of a student branch, and they 
meet with the students, hear their 
recommendations and their findings, 
and then give answers. The student 
voice is heard, and alert, seasoned 
priesthood leaders consider what they 
have to say. Decisions are made — 
some yes, some no — and then all the 
Church elements on campus get to- 
gether and go to work. The representa- 
tives go back to the student council and 
report the decisions made in conference 
with their priesthood leader and his 
associates, and they resolve any prob- 
lems and go to work. 

Now, brethren, correlation is more 
than coordination. Actually, an in- 
tense, devoted student could have a 
calendar coordinated so that he was 
going to an event every night with no 
conflict, but correlation will see to it 
that that doesn't happen. The need the 
students have may be for a week se- 
questered for study and preparation for 

exams. They will tell that to the 
priesthood leader, and the priesthood 
leader is in a position to see that no 
events are scheduled for that week ex- 
cept the regular Sabbath day meetings. 
The student need may be for tutoring 
or service or a social. All the Church 
elements are in the student council; 
they talk about it, they go then to the 
executive committee, and it is discussed 
and decisions are made. 

The Student Association has no juris- 
diction or appointment over the non- 
student, but this simple thought can 
be important, very important. While 
the Student Association is not chartered 
to reach out to the non-student, his 
brother of the same general age group, 
this priesthood leader has authority 
and responsibility to care about all 
young people, and so he can call rep- 
resentatives of the two groups together 
and real correlation begins to take 
place; no one is imposed upon and the 
right results occur. The results, I want 
to tell you, have been wonderful. 

Let me repeat that the Student Asso- 
ciation purposes to strengthen and sup- 
port the Church organizations which 
serve the student. Ordinarily one of 
them is selected to take the lead in 
whatever undertaking has been de- 
cided upon, but occasionally there is a 
situation where no one of the frag- 
mented groups, say the student stake, 
the institute, the MIA, can take the 
job — it is too big. Then the whole 
Student Association influence and ef- 
fectiveness goes into action. Let me 
give you just one example, and I would 
like to give you a hundred. 

At one major university the non- 
Mormon president of that school re- 
cently asked that the LDS Student 
Association take over a major church- 
related campus event, noting that no 
single group of the Mormon students 
could likely handle it but all of them 
together could. He said this verbatim: 
"The Latter-day Saints Student Asso- 
ciation is the most important factor for 
high idealism and stability on this 
campus. It is what I have prayed for 
on every campus I have worked on." 

How do the students feel? The Uni- 
versity of Utah campus is the nearest 
to this building. Let me mention just 
a word about it. It is a great school 

from which I graduated and which I 
love. It has problems. It has many 
wonderful students. It has about 
15,000 Latter-day Saint students, among 
them many thousands of returned mis- 
sionaries. At this great university the 
students have the normal problems that 
bother students at the normal univer- 
sity these days. The Student Associa- 
tion has been accepted and given status 
on this campus. Among many Latter- 
day Saint students, some of whom are 
not seeking the Church, to be honest 
about it, but may be trying to hide 
from it, there are many diverse ele- 

We have taped just about three 
minutes of the testimony of one young 
returned missionary, a choice young- 
man who couldn't spend much time or 
didn't choose to at the institute before 
his mission, but who finds a difference 
there since. I am going to ask that it 
be played right now, if you will listen 
attentively to Randy Harmsen, and 
then we will finish. 

' 'Labor not for the meat which 
perisheth, but for that meat which en- 
dureth unto everlasting life.' 

"Recently there has occurred on the 
college campuses much dissent and un- 
rest, which in some instances has led 
to militant and destructive action. Or- 
ganizations like SDS, the Black Student 
Union, Moaists, etc., attract nearly all 
the attention, which leads some to 
think that other students have no argu- 
ment. This in my opinion is not so. 
A great percentage of responsible stu- 
dents feel estranged from a system that 
has little room for student participa- 
tion. The student wants a voice in the 
decision process. He needs a piece of 
the action. 

"We realize that if we do not act 
responsibly while trying to obtain this 
goal of meaningful involvement, we 
will never receive it. In this quest for 
personal and /or student representation 
in the decision process, the Latter-day 
Saints Student Association provides op- 
portunities and means whereby this 
goal can be accomplished. I am grate- 
ful for an organization that meets the 
needs of students through their in- 
volvement and leadership under the 
direction of the priesthood. The asso- 
ciation would not remain vital without 
priesthood inspiration, experience, and 
support. We need it and we want it. A 
generation bond, not a gap, between 
students and priesthood exists. 

"As I examine the impact of LDSSA 
on my life, I can only reflect on my 
experiences and observations at the 
University of Utah. As a freshman I 
soon realized that I was just one of 
thousands, a number on an IBM card. 
I had spiritual needs, not so much 
doctrinal as of identity, that were not 


Improvement Era 

being met. I had a desire to serve 
others within the university environ- 
ment. My fraternity experiences were 
sometimes hollow and empty. The in- 
stitute was not a place to go, and if I 
went I wanted few to know. I noticed 
a void of LDS student unity and sup- 

"We were so anxious not to offend 
the non-LDS students that little was 
said or done. We had needs hut there 
didn't exist an organization or a place 
where we could meet mutually and dis- 
cuss our problems and their possible 
solutions, so consequently religious ex- 
perience to me was a Sunday affair, 
while during the week I wanted to 
appear as broad and as open as anyone. 

"After my mission there was a 
marked change. The institute was and 
is respected, if not becoming the place 
to be. There exists a force, a union, a 
common bond between LDS students 
that I never felt before; a vibrancy of 
spirit, mutual concern, a desire to serve 

others is evident. It was like coming 
from the Andes Mission to a mission 
on the campus. LDSSA is an organiza- 
tion that encourages students to use 
their ideas, talents, and abilities to 
act responsibly. 

"I have a testimony of the value of 
the LDS Student Association, mainly 
because of its spirit. It is a spirit that 
prevails over the campus. There is a 
spirit that inspires the students to live 
their religion, to grasp the relevancy of 
the gospel principles and standards. In 
the words of our Savior, 'Labor not for 
meat which perisheth, but that meat 
which endureth unto everlasting life.' 
The Latter-day Saints Student Asso- 
ciation provides those opportunities and 
student experiences through involve- 
ment that we can have a decisive voice 
in our eternal lives." 

The point, brethren: We care about 
these individual, wonderful young 
people. Will you bishops, branch 
presidents, and executive secretaries 

care "about their pink membership 
cards, or in some other way let us 
know where they are when they leave 
home for campuses? Will you wonder- 
ful young people accept our expression 
of love and interest? Will you go to an 
institute if you are on a campus and 
haven't done so? Will you be involved 
in being, not seeming? I close with 
these great words of Moroni written 
long ago and printed in the ninth chap- 
ter of Mormon. I offer them to the 
young as earnestly as I know how, 
changing only two words to include all 
of you and me with the writer: "Con- 
demn [us] not because of [our] im- 
perfection . . . but rather give thanks 
unto God that he hath made manifest 
unto you our imperfections, that ye 
may learn to be more wise than we 
have been." (Morm. 9:31.) 

I testify to you that I believe they 
will be, and pray God to help them in 
the undertaking, in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. O 


'' - :i: ' ■ " ! "" v :: ' -:, ;: 

Your Spotless Future 

President Hugh B. Brown 

First Counselor in the First Presidency 

l ; l ; |iP .: 

, -.*,■■ 

• I suggested to President Tanner that 
since the time has passed we should 
dismiss, but he is very generous with 
your time. 

It's a bit cold outside tonight, and 
winter is on the way. A young fellow- 
wrote a short essay on winter. He said, 
"In the winter it is very cold. Many 
old people die in the winter, and many 
birds also go to a warmer climate." 

I think I could not do better than to 
leave you smiling. 

Just one word: No matter what your 
past has been, you have a spotless 

A week ago tomorrow night I was 
talking to the young people at Brigham 

Young University in a fireside. There 
were 12,500 of them present. A very 
inspirational time was had. I spoke to 
them about some of the things that 
have been spoken of here tonight. I 
told them they have a spotless future, 
and asked that they guard that future 
and remember that when the Judge 
shall summon them, he will not look 
them over for medals, for diplomas, for 
honors, but for scars, and I warned 
them to beware that there be no stains 
between the scars. 

God help us to be worthy of the re- 
sponsibility that is ours, both those 
who are missionaries, and those who 
have beeh on missions previously, 

those of us who are growing old in the 
work; let us continue faithfully to serve 
God and keep his commandments. Let 
us remember what the speakers tonight 
have said to us, and take their words 
home with us and put them into 

Sixty-five years ago this month I went 
to England on a mission, since which 
time it has been my privilege to serve 
in various capacities. I want to bear you 
my witness tonight, after a lifetime in 
the Church, that this is the gospel of 
Jesus Christ, and that I know that my 
Redeemer lives. May God bless us all 
with his Holy Spirit, in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. O 

December 1969 


Sunday morning session, October 5, 1969 

Ethics Alone Is Not Sufficient 

Howard W. Hunter 

Of the Council of the Twelve 



• Not long ago one of our national 
publications reported an extensive 
study of some conditions plaguing our 
modern society, conditions which give 
us great concern. Crimes of violence are 
increasing at an alarming rate. There 
is disrespect for law and order, civil 
disobedience, expanded use of drugs 
and barbituates, increase in venereal 
diseases, and an accelerating divorce 
rate. The upward trend in petty thefts, 
burglary, gambling, riots on school 
campuses, and protests against stan- 
dards which have long prevailed as 
acceptable is alarming. 

Can we say that because news media 
are filled with such accounts, there is a 
universal and basic social change in 
thinking and conduct? Can we believe 
that because there are some who have 
no regard for the law or the rights of 
others, or who advocate a new morrlity, 
this represents a new concept of right 
and wrong? Although we cannot hide 
our heads in the sand and disregard 
present-day problems, I for one have 
not lost faith in my fellowmen. 

Among our modern campus youth 
are some who take great delight in 
attracting attention by pursuing a 
course against the conventional. By a 
misguided sense of direction, this vocal 
minority often campaigns for a new 
freedom disassociated from any sense 
of responsibility. For every one of 
these there are thousands of young 
people who want to live right and do 
right. They have the desire to take 
their place in a responsible society and 
to live under a code of high morality. 
We are proud of them. These are the 
great hope of the future. I only wish 
their good works and their aspirations 

could receive the same "equal time" as 
is allotted to those of opposing politi- 
cal philosophies. 

What makes the difference? What 
causes persons to travel divergent 
courses on moral issues? Is it because 
of a difference in belief as to whether 
or not a thing is right or wrong, or is 
it a total disregard for the right? 

We teach little children the differ- 
ence between right and wrong, and a 
conscience awakens in them. There 
seems to be in each of God's children 
this monitoring device we call a con- 
science, which tracks our thoughts and 
actions and raises a caution when 
there is contemplation of the improper, 
unconventional, or immoral. Merely 
living with other people teaches us the 
difference between right and wrong. 
There is something lacking in the ex- 
perience of an adult who must be taken 
into custody and punished or restrained 
for violating the rights of others. But 
again, these people are a small minor- 
ity. I think we would agree that most 
people have a real sense of right and 
wrong and a sincere desire to follow 
the right. They have an understand- 
ing of moral responsibility. Some- 
times we refer to this as ethics, the 
science of moral duty or ideal human 

I believe most persons follow a strict 
code of ethics. They are governed by 
this great ethical rule: So live as to in- 
voke the best in others and therefore 
in yourself. Surely this is commend- 
able and would enhance relationships 
in our complex society if everyone had 
a sincere feeling of such moral respon- 

Ethical theory is the basis for righ- 

teous government and for the formula- 
tion of fair and equitable jurisprudence. 
It is the basis for all moral, social, and 
economic systems. 

We would agree that to follow a 
strict code of moral ethics, society 
would reach a high state of perfection 
and many of the present-day problems 
would be solved, but is ethics alone 
sufficient to attain our goals in life? 
To those who have no belief in life 
after mortality, ethics may be sufficient 
to fulfill the requirements of conduct 
and responsibility. There may be some 
who believe in a life hereafter, yet feel 
that ethics is sufficient for salvation. 
Can this be true without also living 
the other commandments of God? 

There is a great difference between 
ethics and religion. There is a distinc- 
tion between one whose life is based 
on mere ethics and one who lives a 
truly religious life. We have a need 
for ethics, but true religion includes 
the truths of ethics and goes far beyond. 
True religion has its roots in the belief 
in a supreme being. Christian religion 
is based upon a belief in God the 
Eternal Father and in his Son Jesus 
Christ and in the word of the Lord 
as contained in scripture. Religion also 
goes beyond theology. It is more than 
just a belief in Deity; it is the practice 
of the belief. James E. Talmage said, 
"One may be deeply versed in theo- 
logical lore, and yet be lacking in 
religious and even moral character. If 
theology be theory then religion is 
practice; if theology be precept, re- 
ligion is example." (Articles of Faith, 
p. 5.) 

True religion to the Christian is 
demonstrated by a real belief in God 


Improvement Era 

and the realization that we are respon- 
sible to him for our acts and conduct. 
A person who lives such religion is 
willing to live the principles of the 
gospel of Christ and walk uprightly 
before the Lord in all things accord- 
ing to his revealed law. This brings 
to a man or a woman a sense of peace 
and freedom from confusion in life 
and gives an assurance of eternal life 
hereafter. The Lord said, ". . . Man 
shall not live by bread alone, but by 
every word that proceedeth out of the 
mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4.) A code 
of morals is not wholly sufficient. For 
the same reason man cannot be saved 
by bread alone, he cannot be saved 
by a code of ethics. 

In order to be effective in one's life, 
religion must be a vibrant influence. 
It must be an influence that becomes 
a part of one's thinking and conduct. 
There is purpose in man's sojourn in 
mortality. He is placed here for a 
definite reason, in accordance with 
God's great plan. We read in Genesis 
the story of the creation: "And the 
Lord God said, Behold, the man is be- 
come as one of us, to know good and 
evil. . . ." (Gen. 3:22.) 

To learn the difference between good 
and evil is one the great purposes for 
man to have mortal life, yet he is 
given his freedom of choice with the 
promise of eternal blessings if he obeys 

the laws of God. 

A true religious faith teaches us that 
there are certain principles that must 
be accepted and obeyed. We must have 
faith in God the Eternal Father and 
in his Son Jesus Christ and his atoning 
sacrifice. This must be followed by 
repentance from all sin, then baptism 
by immersion after the example of the 
Savior by one having authority, and 
the laying on of hands for the gift of 
the Holy Ghost. Other things are 
necessary, including a contrite spirit, 
a humble heart, obedience to the ordi- 
nances and principles of the gospel, 
and faithfulness to the end. This en- 
compasses the choosing of right over 
wrong, following good, and abstaining 
from evil. 

Ethics alone will not accomplish all 
these things for us, but an active re- 
ligion will add to ethics the principles 
and ordinances of the gospel, which, if 
obeyed, will open the doors of eternal 
salvation, provided such religion is 
ordained of God and not of man's 
creation. I bear witness to you that 
the Church established by Christ and 
taken from the earth because of the 
apostasy of men has been restored in 
these latter days in the same manner as 
foretold by the prophets of old and by 
the other statements of scripture; that 
God has spoken to his servants in our 
day and is now speaking. The Church 

of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in- 
vites all persons to listen to the story 
of the restoration of the gospel, the 
story of a religion vibrant and vital 
in the lives of thousands of persons of 
faith, testimony, and devotion to the 
principles of the gospel taught by the 
Church of Christ. 

The troubles of the world often 
expressed in screaming headlines should 
remind us to seek for the peace that 
comes from living the simple princi- 
ples of the gospel of Christ. The 
vociferous minorities will not unsettle 
our peace of soul if we love our fellow- 
men and have faith in the atoning 
sacrifice of the Savior and the quiet 
assurance he gives of life everlasting. 
Where do we find such faith in a 
troubled world? The Lord said, "Ask, 
and it shall be given you; seek, and ye 
shall find; knock, and it shall be 
opened unto you. 

"For every one that asketh receiveth; 
and he that seeketh findeth; and to 
him that knocketh it shall be opened." 
(Luke 11:9-10.) 

It is my humble and sincere testi- 
mony to you that God does truly live — 
a kind, loving Father. I know that 
his Son Jesus Christ is the Savior of 
the world, and that through belief in 
him and keeping his commandments 
we will have life everlasting. In the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. O 

• I supposed you have heard the story 
of the absent-minded professor who 
went shopping and lost his umbrella. 
Discovering his loss, he retraced his 
steps. At the first three stores on 
which he called, the clerks denied 
having found his umbrella. At the 
fourth store the clerk handed him the 
missing umbrella. He grumbled, 

"Thank goodness for an honest man. 
The other three told me they didn't 
have it." 

I am inclined to think that not- 
withstanding the gains we see in the 
work of the Lord, notwithstanding the 
reformation we see in the lives of many 
people, we are prone to emphasize the 
problems and disregard the progress. 

I stand here today as an optimist 
concerning the work of the Lord. I 
cannot believe that God has established 
his work in the earth to have it 
fail. I cannot believe that it is getting 
weaker. I know that it is getting stron- 
ger. I realize, of course, that we are 
beset with many tragic problems. 
I am a newspaper reader, and I have 

December 1969 


seen a good deal of this earth. I have 
seen its rot and smelled its filth. I 
have been in areas where war rages 
and hate smolders in the hearts of 
people. I have seen the appalling 
poverty that hovers over many lands. 
I have seen the oppression of those in 
bondage and the brutality of their 
overlords. I know something of the 
misguided youth whose appearance is 
repugnant, whose hygiene is repulsive, 
whose manners are disgusting. I have 
watched with alarm the crumbling 
morals of our society. 

And yet I am an optimist. I have a 
simple and solemn faith that right will 
triumph and that truth will prevail. 
I am not so naive as to believe there 
will not be setbacks, but I believe that 
"truth crushed to earth will rise again." 

When I left for a mission some 36 
years ago, my good father handed me 
a card on which were written five 
words. They were the words of the 
Lord to the ruler of the synagogue who 
had received news of his daughter's 
death: "Be not afraid, only believe." 
(Mark 5:36.) If the Lord will inspire 
me, I should like to express a few 
thoughts on that theme. 

I believe in the triumph of the gos- 
pel of Jesus Christ and the triumph of 
the Church and kingdom of God on the 
earth. If ever your faith is inclined to 
weaken as you see the onward march 
of evil and oppression, read again the 
story of Daniel who, putting his trust 
in the "God in heaven that revealeth 
secrets," interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's 
dream. He said concerning our day 
that the God of heaven shall "set up a 
kingdom, which shall never be de- 
stroyed: and the kingdom shall not be 
left to other people, but it shall break 
in pieces and consume all these [other] 
kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." 
(Dan. 2:44.) 

I believe, my friends, that the cause 
we have the honor to represent is that 
kingdom which shall stand forever. 

I am not engaging in unrealistic 
dreams when I think of its future, for 
every day I see the miracle of its 
strength and of its growing influence in 
the lives of thousands across the earth. 
It is not a great impersonal juggernaut 
of power. It finds its best expression 
in the quiet of the lives of those who 
have embraced it. 

I do not want to boast. Heaven 
knows we have problems among us. 
We are far from perfection. And yet 
I have seen so much of good that my 
faith constantly strengthens. 

I believe in our youth. I believe in 
their goodness and decency. I believe 
in their virtue. I have interviewed 
thousands of them on a personal and 
individual basis. Yes, there are some 
who have succumbed to evil, but they 

are a minority. 

On a visit to South Vietnam three 
years ago, I talked individually with 
two or three hundred men — men who 
had waded through the blood and heat 
of battle, but men who were virtuous 
in their lives. I remember one of 
them, a boy who had just come down 
from the Rock Pile near the DMZ, who 
said in response to a question on moral- 
ity: "Not on your life — I couldn't do 
that. I want to be worthy of a great 
girl some day." 

I believe in their sense of service. 
I have just been down in South 
America, where we have some 1,500 
of the 13,000 missionaries of this 
church. Like their associates over the 
world, they are there entirely at their 
own expense and at the expense of their 
families. They give to the Lord two 
years of their lives. Their days are long, 
their weeks crowded and arduous. They 
speak with a persuasive conviction. 
They bear testimony of the living 
Christ and of the virtues of his marvel- 
ous work. 

May I read from a letter received 
from one of them: "The most effective 
technique we have found in our work 
is fasting and prayer. We saw how 
this worked a few weeks ago with an 
investigator of the Church. He had 
a number of questions and problems to 
overcome, and we just didn't seem 
to get anywhere when we met with 
him to discuss them. So we would go 
home to our apartment and ask the 
Lord to bless him and help him under- 
stand what we had explained to him. 
We felt it was very important that he 
be baptized, so we asked the Lord to 
bless him with a desire for baptism. 
Even up through the sixth lesson he 
was wavering, so we fasted the day 
before his baptism, and he has been 
a faithful member ever since." 

One thinks of the words of the Lord 
to his disciples who complained they 
could not perform miracles. Said he: 
". . . this kind goeth not out but by 
prayer and fasting." (Matt. 17:21.) 

Is it not a miracle in itself that in 
this day of doubt and disbelief young 
men, thousands of them, with lives to 
live and careers to build, spend two 
years in the service of the Lord, labor- 
ing constantly and even willing to fast 
and pray in behalf of those to whom 
they seek to teach a better life? I know 
of no experience more refreshing than 
to be with them and feel of their spirit. 
If any of you who are listening this day 
should have two of them come to your 
door, I hope that you will welcome 
them and hear them. They will restore 
your faith in youth. They will 
quicken your faith in the Lord. They 
will lead you to a joy you have never 
previously known. 

I believe they are the best generation 
that ever lived. In Montevideo the 
other day I interviewed 154 of them. I 
asked them about their parents and 
about their homes. I discovered that 
58 of them, or more than one-third, 
came from homes where parents did 
not belong to the Church or did noth- 
ing in the Church. While the sample 
may be too small from which to draw 
a reliable conclusion, my observation 
and experience would indicate that th.3 
youth I know and love are better than 
their parents. 

And I believe in something else that 
is a barometer of their goodness. Paul 
warned that in the last days men 
would be unthankful, unholy, dis- 
obedient to parents, without natural 
affection. (See 2 Tim. 3:1-3.) One need 
not look far in the homes of the people 
to see that prophecy being fulfilled. 
And yet I have recently witnessed a re- 
pudiation of that insofar as many are 
concerned. In my visit to South 
America I heard hundreds of our young 
men and women stand on their feet 
and express their feelings. Almost with- 
out exception they spoke words of ap- 
preciation, of thankfulness for their 
parents. What a remarkably refresh- 
ing thing it is to hear young men and 
women, 19, 20, 21, and 22 years of age, 
stand before one another and, in the 
quiet confidences of such a meeting, 
say, "I really appreciate my dad." "I 
love my mother." They are not maud- 
lin; they are manly, athletic, able 
young men and womanly girls of 
charm and education. Their words 
come from the heart. Those sentiments 
in this day are as a cool and refresh- 
ing breeze on a hot and humid night. 

One hears much these days about 
the slow death of the churches, and 
yet the Lord declared that "this gospel 
of the kingdom shall be preached . . . 
for a witness unto all nations; and then 
shall the end come." (Matt. 24:14.) 
Can it possibly be accomplished? I 
recently had an insight into that possi- 

When I was in South America 
I met a woman. She had just joined 
the Church. She was introduced as a 
new convert to the Church. Fired by 
a great love for that which she had 
found, she has gone about enthusi- 
astically telling others. During a period 
of only seven months since her bap- 
tism, she has referred 300 acquaintances 
to the missionaries so that they might 
explain the gospel to them. Of these, 
60 have come into the Church and are 
solid members, and more will yet come. 
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, I recently met the 
young missionary who first had taught 
her the gospel. He too had been a 
convert, had gone on a mission to 
represent the Church at considerable 


Improvement Era 

financial sacrifice; and xhe woman of 
whom I speak was one of 43 he had 
hrought into the Church, so this young 
man of Brazil had expanded himself 
more than 100 times— 43 converts of 
his own and 60 through one of those 
he converted, with perhaps more from 
others of his converts yet to come. 

Yes, this work requires sacrifice, it 
requires effort, it means courage to 
speak out and faith to try. This cause 
does not need critics; it does not need 
doubters. It needs men and women of 
solemn purpose. As Paul wrote to 
Timothy: ". . . God hath not given us 
the spirit of fear; but of power, and of 
love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou 

therefore ashamed of the testimony of 
our Lord " (2 Tim. 1:7-8.) 

I would that every member of this 
church, and every good man through- 
out the world, would put those words 
where he might see them every morning 
as he begins his day. They would give 
him the courage to speak up, they 
would give him the faith to try, they 
would strengthen his conviction of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

I believe that miracles would begin 
to happen over the earth. 

I recall the occasion on which Jesus 
fed the multitude with the loaves and 
fishes. They were satisfied physically 
and were curious. He then taught 

them the doctrines of the kingdom and 
many fell away. "Then said Jesus unto 
the Twelve, will ye also go away? 

"Then Simon Peter answered him, 
Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast 
the words of eternal life. 

"And we believe and are sure that 
thou art that Christ, the Son of the 
living God." (John 6:67-69.) 

I echo that testimony, my brethren. 
I know that God lives, that Jesus is the 
Christ, that this is their holy work, 
and I plead with you and with the 
God of heaven that we shall have the 
power and the faith and the devotion 
to roll it forward to its great destiny, 
in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. O 


;;;:;:■:::■ ■;:: 


A Divided Christianity 

Mark E. Petersen 
Of the Council of the Twelve 





Hi ^ : 

• Earnestly I pray for the direction of 
the eternal Spirit of God as I stand 
before you and bear you my testimony 
that I know that the gospel of the Lord 
Jesus Christ is true. 

From its beginning, true Christian- 
ity has been a religion that has been 
hard to believe and hard for most 
people to live. 

When the Savior was on earth and 
taught his pure doctrine, many refused 
to listen to him. Some were offended 
by what he said and became so angry 
that they sought his life, and eventually 
they crucified him. 

Following his ascension into heaven, 
his disciples endeavored to carry on his 
work, but they also were misunder- 
stood, disbelieved by most, and severely 

As the scriptures indicate, they were 
everywhere spoken against. It was 
largely because their teachings were so 
hard to believe. 

The doctrine which first challenged 
the credulity of the people was the 
teaching that Christ was the Son of 

the living God. This led his critics to 
call him a blasphemer. 

When he exhibited his divine power 
in healing the sick and giving sight to 
the blind, they called him Beelzebub 
and said he was of the devil. 

These reactions to his labors were 
quite understandable, and in a way 
the people generally were hardly to 
blame. Jesus himself prayed at the 
crucifixion, "Father, forgive them; for 
they know not what they do." (Luke 

The doctrines of Christ were quite 
different from what they had been 
taught all their lives, and therefore, 
under the influence of their time- 
honored tradition, they felt that what 
Jesus said was false. 

And yet, the scriptures that they 
professed to love and read had fore- 
told his coming. They even described 
his person and predicted his eventual 
sacrifice. But the scriptures were mis- 
construed by the elders and the scribes, 
who so confused the people that when 
Jesus held his pure truth before them, 

they not only misunderstood but they 
became angry and bitter. 

As his teachings challenged their 
long-standing traditions, their resent- 
ment rose to the point where thoughts 
of revenge filled their minds. 

When the apostles proclaimed his 
resurrection, again there was disbelief. 
Had anyone ever come back from the 
dead? Who in all his life had seen a 
dead man rise from his grave in physi- 
cal reality and walk and talk and eat? 

The idea of a resurrection seemed 
completely incredible and was much 
too hard for most people to believe, so 
they turned away. 

But time favored credulity. That 
which is old always seems easier to 
believe, so when the immediacy of 
Christ's sacrifice was past, greater num- 
bers of people began to accept him. 

But a new difficulty arose. They 
did not all believe alike. Certain of 
them had one interpretation of the 
sacred word while others had contrary 
views. For example, differences arose 
among the believers pertaining to the 

December 1969 


nature of God. What is God like? 
That was the question. Is he a per- 
son? Is he a shapeless, indescribable 
spirit, or is he a mere influence for 
good, filling the universe? The believers 
could not agree among themselves. 

Even on such a simple thing as bap- 
tism, conflicts arose among them. Some 
could not believe this ordinance was 
even necessary. Those who did believe 
in it disagreed as Jo the method by 
which it should be administered. 

So further divisions arose in Chris- 

Well-meaning men began to alter 
Christ's doctrines to suit their own no- 
tions, making them seem easier to 
accept in a revised form than in the 
way they were given originally by the 

And then among the believers them- 
selves, divisions also began to arise 
over the resurrection, which had been 
an earlier stumbling block. Some at 
that time could not, and many Chris- 
tians even today still cannot, accept 
that doctrine. Certain of them con- 
vinced themselves that the spirit or 
soul could survive death, but not a de- 
caying body. A physical resurrection 
of flesh and bone was beyond their 
ability to accept. Therefore, many pro- 
fessed followers of Jesus rejected this 
Christian teaching as being too hard to 

And yet it was in the scripture. To 
reject the resurrection really meant also 
to reject certain portions of holy writ. 
What were the followers of Christ to 
do? Could they believe some of the 
scripture and not the remainder? 

This is exactly what many did, with 
still further division as a result. And 
yet the apostle Paul had said that 
Christ is not divided! 

It became obvious that the original 
gospel was too hard to believe, even 
for many professed Christians. 

Today Christianity is still divided. 
But the many denominations, with 
their varied versions of Christian doc- 
trine, now see the need for a better 

Ecumenical movements have begun, 
arising largely in the wake of the 
courageous steps of the late Pope John, 
who called together the great ecumeni- 
cal councils of Rome. He saw the 
need for a change in world Christianity 
and so did most of his associates. 

His Eminence Julius, Cardinal Dopf- 
ner of Munich, Germany, was one of 
the four prelates chosen by Pope John 
to moderate the council meetings in 
Rome. As quoted in Time magazine, 
following his return to Munich, the 
distinguished cardinal said that many 
of the faithful have been lost because 
the Christianity of today appears "as a 
superannuated souvenir of a past age," 

and he called for reforms that would 
bring Christianity back to Christ and 
the Bible. Ponder, if you will, the deep 
significance of that declaration. 

But if Christianity does take this 
giant step, and does return to the pure 
doctrines of Christ, will modern Chris- 
tians find the original teachings of 
Jesus any easier to believe than did 
their ancient predecessors? 

To unite the various Christian 
churches under a single banner is one 
thing, but to accept the original hard- 
to-believe doctrines of Christ is quite 
another, particularly if they upset 
long-standing creeds and 'traditions as 
they very definitely did when Jesus 
walked the plains of Palestine. 

Philip Scharper, writing his defense 
of the changing Catholicism of today, 
in his book Meet the American Catho- 
lic, makes some remarks that are well 
worth serious consideration. 

He calls for Christians to rediscover 

We Latter-day Saints make the same 

Speaking for his fellow Catholics and 
describing important changes recently 
made in his church, he adds: 

"Now the stereotypes are being 
smashed, and we are forced to search 
out the authentic features of our 
Protestant brothers." 

And then he further says: 

"Every Catholic who would take 
seriously the high ecumenical mandate 
of the Council [of Rome] must come 
to a knowledge of and respect for the 
beliefs and practices of the major 
Protestant churches." 

Then he calls for an exploration of 
the riches of divine revelation! What 
a blessing this would be! 

But to explore the riches of divine 
revelation can only mean a genuine 
study of the original doctrines of 
Christ, no matter how hard to believe 
they may seem to be, for God is the 
same yesterday, today, and forever. 

If we are to accept Christ, then we 
must accept what he taught. Pretenses 
accomplish nothing. He himself said 
that we cannot serve two masters. 

Then if we are to discover him, we 
must discover the kind of Christianity 
that he established and be willing to 
accept it as it is, whether or not it up- 
sets old traditions that have become 
dear to our hearts. 

Tradition is by no means infallible. 
Often it has no basis in fact. And 
quite as often it is at variance with the 
original gospel. 

We Latter-day Saints have long been 
concerned about the divisions in Chris- 
tianity. The question "Which church 
is right?" is often on our lips. 

In all sincerity and in deep solem- 
nity before God, we declare that we 

Latter-day Saints have an important 
message for all mankind that is most 
pertinent to this point. 

In the spirit of Mr. Scharper's 
ecumenical book, we ask both Catholics 
and Protestants to listen to the au- 
thentic features of Mormonism. 

Being heard amidst the echoes of 
long-standing creeds and dogmas, our 
teachings may be as hard to believe as 
the gospel was originally. But they 
are nevertheless true and scriptural. 

Mormonism, so called, proclaims that 
God does live and that he has been 
seen and heard by mortal men in 
these modern times. 

Mormonism further declares that 
Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son 
of Almighty God; that he is divine; 
that he is the Savior of the Christians, 
the Messiah of the Jews, and the Re- 
deemer of mankind. 

We affirm the fact of his death on 
the cross and the physical reality of his 
resurrection, in flesh and bone. 

We teach the authenticity of the 
Holy Bible and the truthfulness of the 
prophetic writings therein. 

Hard to believe though it is, the 
scriptures themselves foretold the sad 
division in Christianity, leading to the 
formation of the many denominations 
of today. They refer to it as a falling 
away, an apostasy from the original 

But those same scriptures declare 
that the gospel truth would be restored 
in all its purity and simplicity in these 
latter days. 

Is that hard to believe? It should 
bring joy to all. 

The sacred word further explains 
the manner in which this restoration 
would be accomplished and teaches 
the almost incredible fact that before 
the hour of God's judgment, holy 
angels would fly through the midst of 
heaven, bringing back to mankind the 
one and only true gospel of the Lord 
Jesus Christ as it was originally taught 
by the Master himself. 

Is that hard to believe? It is never- 
theless a fact. 

Such an event, of course, would 
mean a new and modern revelation 
from God. Dare you believe that? 
Dare you accept the scriptures? 

The ancient prophets, speaking of 
our day, also foretold that a new and 
sacred book would be given to modern 
man, a book written anciently but re- 
served for publication in our times. 
It was to be a record that had been 
buried in the ground for ages, but, as 
Isaiah said, it would come out of the 
earth in the latter days to tell the 
story of a fallen people who had lived 

Is that hard to believe? It is scrip- 


Improvement Era 

The book necessarily would be in an 
ancient tongue, but it would be pub- 
lished in modern languages and would 
be done — not by some great scholar — 
but by an unlearned man, says the 
prophet Isaiah. 

What a paradox! A sacred volume of 
ancient scriptures produced in our day 
by an unlearned man! And yet it is 
foretold in the scripture. Is that hard 
for you to believe? 

Through this great modern revela- 
tion, God would restore his church to 
the earth with modern apostles, 
prophets, pastors, evangelists, and 
teachers, such as were in Christ's an- 
cient church. 

This restoration would make ecu- 
menical councils unnecessary and 
would avoid further debates over dif- 
fering creeds and dogmas. 

Man no longer would need to grope 
through the darkness of his own wis- 
dom seeking religious truth, for the 

light of modern revelation would be 
there to guide him. 

Revelation would take the place of 
conjecture. Prophets would guide 
mankind in this day as Moses and 
Isaiah led their people anciently. All 
of this would be part of a modern 
restoration of the gospel. 

Is this hard for you to believe? Yet 
it is scripture. It is Bible doctrine. Is 
the Bible too hard to accept? 

The glad news of the Latter-day 
Saints, then, is this: Hard to believe 
or not, God lives, and he is our Father. 

Hard to believe or not, Jesus Christ 
is his divine Son, the Savior of the 
Christians, the Messiah of the Jews, 
and the Redeemer of all mankind. 

Difficult as it may be to admit, the 
many denominations of today, by their 
very existence, evidence a departure 
from the original truth as described by 
the apostle Paul. 

And hard to believe as it may seem, 

a modern revelation from God has 
now come, just as Peter and John said 
it would. 

New prophets have been raised up 
in our day. Once again apostles 
traverse the earth. Once again the an- 
cient cry is heard: "Repent: for the 
kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 
4:17.) The gospel now has been re- 
stored in its purity. 

So to all mankind we extend our 
hand in fellowship and love and say: 
"Come, listen to a prophet's voice, 
And hear the word of God, 
And in the way of truth rejoice, 
And sing for joy aloud. 
We've found the way the prophets went 
Who lived in days of yore; 
Another prophet now is sent 
This knowledge to restore." 

— Hymns, No. 46 

And this is our humble testimony in 
the sacred name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Amen. Q 

• My dear brothers and sisters, I re- 
joice with you in the wonderful spirit 
of this conference and the inspirational 
messages that have been given. 

A wise man has said, "Yesterday is 
gone, tomorrow may never come, but 
today is here." This same impressive 
theme is woven into our beautiful 
hymn entitled "Today, While the Sun 
"Today, while the sun shines, work 

with a will; 
Today all your duties with patience 

fulfil . . . 
There is no tomorrow, but only today." 

— Hymns, No. 215 

What a marvelous philosophy — the 
gospel of work, combined with the 

challenge to perform willingly today's 
work today. 

President McKay has said, "Let us 
realize that the privilege to work is a 
gift, that the power to work is a bless- 
ing, that love of work is succiess." 

How true this is! Yet today as in 
earlier times many misguided indi- 
viduals embrace the philosophy of 
idleness, feeling that the world owes 
them a living. Many have a desire to 
destroy the establishment that has been 
built upon productive effort. 

In this dispensation the Lord has 
many times confirmed the eternal 
principle of work. We have been told 
that there is no place in the Church 
for the idler "except he repent and 

mend his ways," and "he that is idle 
shall not eat the bread nor wear the 
garments of the laborer." (D&C 75:29; 

Ever since its organization the 
Church has encouraged its members to 
establish and maintain their economic 
independence; it has encouraged thrift 
and fostered the establishment of em- 
ployment-creating industries. 

At the time the present Welfare 
Program of the Church was established, 
the First Presidency explained that the 
primary purpose "was to set up a sys- 
tem under which the curse of idleness 
would be done away with, the evils 
of a dole abolished, and independence, 
industry, thrift and self-respect be once 

December 1969 


more established amongst our people. 
The aim of the Church is to help the 
people help themselves. Work is to be 
re-enthroned as the ruling principle of 
the lives of our Church membership." 
(Conference Report, October 1936, 
p. 3.) 

These are eternal principles and arc 
as applicable to us today as they were 
when given. This does not mean that 
we do not recognize the need for 
change. Nothing is static; all things 
change. We accept the law of change 
— this is the law of progression. The 
gospel of work brings change and 

I encourage all to accept whole- 
heartedly the principle of effective 
work and make it a vital part of our 

As President McKay said, "Love of 
work is success." I am sure that you 
know many people who truly love 
their work. Are they happy and suc- 
cessful? You and I know they are 
both happy and successful. Such being 
the case, we might ask, "How can we 
develop a love of work?" 

To develop love of work, I suggest 
two guidelines: (1) set worthwhile 
objectives, and (2) be satisfied only 
with superior achievement. 

Insofar as setting worthwhile objec- 
tives is concerned, let us consider that 
each day is a success in which we 
accomplish a worthwhile objective, 
and any day is a failure if it passes 
without some worthwhile achieve- 

A proper appreciation of life's pur- 
pose is a great help in developing 
worthwhile objectives. The restored 
gospel of Jesus Christ answers the 
questions, "Where did we come from?" 
"Why are we here?" and "Where do 
we go after this life?" With this knowl- 
edge, we are in a preferred position to 
set worthwhile objectives and goals, 
both short range and long range. 

I am grateful for my knowledge and 
testimony that God the Father and his 
Son Jesus Christ appeared to the 
Prophet Joseph Smith and through 
him restored the gospel in its fullness; 
and I am grateful for the Prophet who 
stands at the head of the Church of 
Jesus Christ today, our beloved Presi- 
dent David O. McKay — may the Lord 
bless and sustain him. 

The Lord has indicated that it is 
his work and his glory to bring to pass 
the immortality and eternal life of 
man. What a great work! 

Thus, we need not hesitate to estab- 
lish our long-term objective as exalta- 
tion in the celestial kingdom, or eternal 

Each of us is entitled to immortality 
through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus 
Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, but 

in order to enjoy eternal life — or ex- 
altation in the celestial kingdom — we 
must work out our own salvation day 
by day. 

Working out our salvation requires 
that we commit ourselves to keep the 
Lord's commandments and to work 
and serve effective!}' in all phases of 
life's activities. 

Our day-to-day, month-to-month, 
and year-to-year goals should contri- 
bute to our long-term objective — eternal 

In selecting our day-to-day work, we 
should not overlook the fact that our 
success will be in proportion to our 
love of the work that we are engaged in. 

The Savior continually emphasized 
the doctrine of unselfishness and sacri- 
fice, and it is apparent that there is 
no real success or happiness in being 
self-centered and selfish. Let me sug- 
gest, therefore, the advisability of en- 
gaging in some work that involves 
service to our fellowmen and some 
sacrifice of our time, talents, and 
means. It is this type of work that one 
can easily develop a love of, as well as 
a love of people. 

Success in these areas almost always 
manifests itself in growth and change 
in the lives of all the persons involved. 

Coupled with worthwhile objectives, 
we must learn to work compatibly 
with people. Some seem to be born 
with this talent while others have to 
acquire it, but fortunately this love of 
people and work can be developed. 

Another essential factor to consider 
at this point is loyalty. Loyalty to 
employer or a cause one is working 
for is a key step in developing a love 
of work and success. 

The great merchandiser, F. W. Wool- 
worth, once said: "We would rather 
have one man or woman working with 
us than three merely working for us." 

Objectives and goals should not only 
be worthwhile but also realistic. They 
should be an incentive to work effec- 
tively. Thus the setting of realistic 
objectives and achieving them becomes 
an important part of the great process 
of eternal progression. 

Now with respect to the goal of 
superior achievement: 

Helen Keller, whose life was an in- 
spiration to millions, expressed these 

"My share in the work of the world 
may be limited but the fact that it is 
work makes it precious. I long to ac- 
complish a great and noble task but it 
is my chief duty and joy to accomplish 
my humble tasks as though they were 
great and noble." 

The desire for superior achievement 
comes from our Father in heaven. 
However, too many people are im- 
bued with the spirit of "just getting 

by." This spirit comes from the evil 
one. Let us avoid the habit of "just 
getting by," as it will rob us of the 
choicest rewards. 

Whether our work is mainly mental 
or physical or is a combination of both, 
we should learn to do it well, culti- 
vate the proper attitude, and develop 
work habits that will produce superior 
results. These habits will become a 
part of us. 

Superior achievement comes when 
one makes up his mind to be successful 
and is willing to pay the price or to 
magnify his calling. 

This involves the development of 
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and faith 
in ourselves, always remembering that 
we are spirit children of God. It in- 
volves study and training, coupled with 
planning, discipline, and hard work — 
yes, going the extra mile. 

Paying the price also involves living 
the gospel principles. Let me empha- 
size the need for humility and prayer as 
well as hard work to keep in tune with 
the Holy Spirit, which will guide and 
direct us in time of need. This is 
brought out in an interesting letter 
received from a lady missionary in 
which she stated: 

" 'With hard work, deep humility, 
and sincere prayer, you will succeed.' 
As I read this sentence on my first day 
in the mission field, I thought, I want 
to be a successful missionary. 

"I found that to me hard work has 
meant going the extra mile, in doing 
more than is required. One experience 
I shall never forget is the day my com- 
panion and I found three really golden 
families because we asked the golden 
questions 20 times instead of 15 times. 
If we had not asked more than the 
required 15, we would not have been 
blessed in • finding them, because they 
were the 16th, 18th, and 19th families 
that we asked. My companion and I 
were given the blessings of teaching 
two of these families. Satan was really 
working hard on these choice families, 
and then I again learned the impor- 
tance of sincere prayer. Sincere prayer, 
fasting, and our testimonies of the 
true gospel were really the only 
weapons we had to fight Satan. But 
the Lord does answer our prayers. 

"I was truly humbled as my com- 
panion and I watched these lovely 
people baptized by the true authority. 
Tears of happiness came into my eyes 
as I realized the blessings that the 
Lord had given to those coming into 
the Church and to my companion and 
me through hard work." 

Someone has said that genius is ten 
percent talent and 90 percent work. 
This I believe, and it is clearly brought 
out in this missionary's experience. 

It is our responsibility to teach 


Improvement Era 

young and old the value of work and 
the wisdom of superior achievement. 

The Church furnishes many oppor- 
tunities for work and service, regardless 
of age. One of the happiest persons 
I have seen recently was an 86-year-old 
woman, busily engaged in doing tem- 
ple work in the Salt Lake Temple. It 
was evident that she loved her work. 
To her, work itself, with a sense of 
accomplishment, was the way to avoid 
getting old. 

I will be eternally grateful to the 
stake president of the stake in which 
I was raised as a young man. His 
motto was "Be there." "Be there" 
meant to work effectively, to magnify 
your calling. This teaching as a young 
man has had a great effect in my 

Teach children the importance of 
work and assist them in preparing for 
superior achievements; don't deprive 
them of the blessings that come from 
proper work habits. 

Eleanor Roosevelt once remarked 

that "the surest way to make it hard 
for children is to make it easy for 

Teach children to recognize their 
obligations. Teach them to be loyal 
to their families, to their employers, to 
the Church; to their country, and to 
any worthy cause they espouse. 

How can you find time to teach these 
things to your children, and what is the 
best way to do it? you ask. You will 
find the time and a most effective way 
as you hold your weekly family home 
evening, as you have been counseled to 
do. In searching for ways to develop a 
love of work, w r e must not overlook the 
matter of relaxation. Although work is 
absolutely essential to achievement, re- 
laxation and proper rest are likewise 
necessary. The power to pace one's 
self is an important factor in develop- 
ing a love of work. The Lord expects 
each of us to work out a proper balance 
between work and relaxation as well 
as the physical and spiritual aspects 
of life. 

It will be to our eternal advantage 
to recognize that work is the secret of 
growth, progress, and happiness in both 
temporal and spiritual fields. 

I encourage you to set worthwhile 
and realistic objectives and be satisfied 
with only superior achievement. 

The philosophy of work and the 
extra mile is a sound philosophy; it is 
a vital part of the gospel of Jesus Christ 
that will lead us to eternal life. 

Accept every opportunity to serve in 
building the kingdom of God, and I 
bear you my witness that as you do 
your part, the Lord will make you 
equal to every task that you are called 
upon to perform. 

Let me conclude, as I commenced, 
by quoting the inspiring words of 
President McKay: "Let us realize that 
the privilege to work is a gift, that the 
power to work is a blessing, that the 
love of work is success." 

May the Lord's choice blessings be 
with you, I pray, in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. O 

• The month was July; the year, 1959. 
My family and I were on a vacation 
trip in western Canada. On Thursday, 
July 2, w r e were visiting with friends in 
Lethbridge when the telephone rang. 
The long distance operator had in- 
quired for me. Upon picking up the 
receiver, I became aware of a familiar 
voice that said something like this: 
"Henry, this is Marion G. Romney. 

I was greatly startled and replied: 
"Thanks very much, Brother Romney, 
but for what?" 

He continued: "I have just come from 
a meeting of the First Presidency and 

the Council of the Twelve. You were 
named to be the managing director of 
the General Church Welfare Program 
to succeed Elder Harold B. Lee. I have 
been selected to be chairman of the 
committee to succeed Elder Henry D. 
Moyle, who, as you are aware, is now 
a member of the First Presidency." He 
went on to say: "I have been autho- 
rized by the Brethren to advise you of 
this appointment before you read it in 
the newspapers. I will talk with you 
further when you return to Salt Lake." 
It has been a wonderful ten years 
since this calling came to me. While 
I have had a constant and continuing 

appreciation for the Welfare Program 
ever since its inception, this apprecia- 
tion has increased and deepened as I 
have become more intimately ac- 
quainted with its operations, with its 
many ramifications, its lofty purposes 
and objectives. 

It is pleasing to the Lord that the 
poor and needy be provided for. Run- 
ning like a golden thread through the 
scriptures, which contain the word of 
the Lord, comes a message loud and 
clear: "Thou shalt remember the poor 
and the needy." 

The Lord has affirmed and re- 
affirmed that it is his purpose to see 

December 1969 


'There are undoubtedly 
more persons today who are 
spiritually hungry than who are 
physically starving" 

that they are cared for, but he has 
made it equally plain and clear that 
it must be done in the way and man- 
ner that he will indicate or prescribe. 

In spite of the Lord's concern for 
the well-being of the needy, he has 
pointed out and proclaimed emphat- 
ically that they themselves have a 
responsibility, and if they find it 
necessary to seek assistance from the 
Church, they are under obligation to 
work to the extent of their physical 
ability for that assistance. Idleness has 
been designated by the Lord as being 
a curse, and to receive without giving 
is contrary to his desires. The beauti- 
ful and vital principle of work removes 
the Welfare Program from the cate- 
gory of a dole, which has been de- 
nounced as an evil. To re-enthrone 
work and make it a ruling principle in 
the lives of the Church members is one 
of the primary purposes of the Wel- 
fare Program. 

A man over 30 years of age had never 
been able to work, due to cerebral 
palsy, from which he had suffered 
since birth. He was brought by his 
bishop to a Deseret Industries plant, 
where someone with love and kindness 
patiently taught him to cut the buttons 
from old clothes that were brought 
daily into the Deseret Industries plant. 
This became something he could do, 
and fairly skillfully, too. For the first 
time in his life this man felt he was 
a useful member of society. With joy 
and pride he turned each day to his 
humble task. And then came the day 
that he received his first pay check. 
With trembling, uncontrolled move- 
ments he took the check, read the 
amount eagerly, and proudly placed it 
in his wallet as he had seen others do, 
but which he had never been able to do 
in all his 30 years until this great 
moment. What a blessed privilege is 
the rewarding principle of work! 

The Lord expects each individual to 
care for himself. Faithful Latter-day- 

Saints have traditionally taken pride 
in maintaining their own indepen- 
dence. The aim of the Church is to 
help the people to help themselves. 
Each individual will strive to live 
within his income. He will avoid debt 
as he would a plague. When times are 
good he will lay a little aside each 
month in storage of commodities and 
cash, to provide for the "rainy days." 
Then, in the event of ill health, unem- 
ployment, or other justifiable condi- 
tions, he will have the satisfaction of 
knowing that he has done all possible 
to provide for himself. But after he 
has exhausted his own resources, his 
family then has not only the responsi- 
bility and obligation, but also the 
privilege of helping him. When the 
individual and his family have done 
all within their power to provide for 
his needs, he may then look to the 
Church for assistance. 

It would seem that the care of the 
needy has always had a preferential 
claim on the funds of the Church, 
President Heber J. Grant, as he in- 
structed a stake presidency, gave the 
comforting assurance that "before the 
Church would allow its members to 
suffer want, it would close every 
Church School, every Seminary and 
every Temple." (Albert E. Bowen, The 
Church Welfare Plan, p. 144.) 

The bishop is the key figure in the 
Welfare Program, and its success de- 
pends upon him. The Lord by reve- 
lation has placed upon him the 
responsibility for determining those 
who are to receive Church assistance 
and to what extent. 

In this way the Lord has outlined 
his way of caring for the poor and 

Although we are presently living in 
prosperous times and all seems well in 
Zion, the situation could change and 
change rapidly. In our lifetime we 
have seen the nations of the world in 
death struggles, have seen a devastating 

depression and several economic reces- 
sions. The Lord's way — the noble 
Welfare Plan of the Church — gives to 
each of us, especially the fathers, who 
are usually the breadwinners, and the 
widows, a solid sense of security. For 
we know that the Church stands ready, 
in the background, to assist in a crisis 
or emergency. 

As we view the operation of the 
many types of welfare projects — the 
farms, the cattle ranches, fruit orchards, 
citrus groves and poultry flocks, the 
canneries, the coal mine and flour 
mill, the cheese and soap factories, the 
Deseret Industries plants — we get the 
impression that all these are physical 
and temporal in nature. But Presi- 
dent McKay has reminded us that to 
the Lord nothing is temporal; to him 
all things are spiritual, and the Wel- 
fare Program must do more than just 
feed the hungry and clothe the naked 
if it is to achieve its intended purposes. 
It must uplift, build, and bless the 
people spiritually. There are un- 
doubtedly more persons in the world 
today who are spiritually hungry than 
who are physically starving. 

It has been a rich and rewarding ex- 
perience to associate during these many 
years in the welfare cause with Presi- 
dent McKay, President J. Reuben 
Clark, Jr., and President Moyle; with 
Elder Lee and Elder Romney, our ad- 
visers; with the First Presidency; and 
with Bishop Vandenberg and his 

I am deeply grateful for my associa- 
tion with the personnel in the welfare 
office. These, my colleagues, are faith- 
ful, devoted, loyal, and dedicated 
workers in the program. 

The Welfare Program is an inspired 
program because it is of the Lord and 
not of man. Brethren who are in a 
position to know have borne testimony 
that as a result of inspiration and 
revelation through the Holy Ghost to 
President Grant, the Welfare Program 
was introduced back in 1936. It is 
truly the gospel in action. 

In the early days of the program, 
President McKay made this prophetic 
promise: "The Church Security [now 
Welfare] Plan has not come up as a 
mushroom overnight. It is the result 
of inspiration, and that inspiration has 
come from the Lord. . . . Those who 
have selfishness in their heart would 
like to see it fail, but it is not going 
to fail." 

And to these testimonies I would add 
mine: that this unselfish, wonderful 
program is an inspired plan, and I bear 
witness that I know it is the Lord's 
way for providing for the poor and 
needy in this, our day, to which I 
testify in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Amen. Q 


Improvement Era 

:W"." : ::«::- ^■::^\\\Uni^W^i.^lt%vn-ri\ 

Living Prophets for 
Our Generation 

Elder Paul H. Dunn 

Of the First Council of the Seventy 

• President McKay, my beloved broth- 
ers and sisters, and friends everywhere: 

This is always a most humbling ex- 
perience, and I too seek an interest in 
your prayers in my behalf as I attempt 
to share some of the feelings of my 
heart. I was so edified last evening, as 
I have been throughout this conference, 
with the missionary zeal and spirit 
that has been evident. Last night we 
of the priesthood were able to recom- 
mit ourselves to building the kingdom 
of our Heavenly Father in a missionary 

I am thankful for you parents who 
sacrifice so much in so many ways to 
send into the mission field the young 
people you do in a way that we might 
work together. They are tremendous, 
and you can be very proud. 

I have been uplifted today and the 
previous days by the optimistic sermons 
of those who have preceded me. I am 
grateful for a happy church, a church 
that brings security and understanding 
and faith in the lives of its people. 
This is a church that is not only opti- 
mistic but also has a firm foundation. 
It has been reiterated many times al- 

The optimism of this conference 
brought to my mind the little experi- 
ence of two Vermont farmers. It seems 
that in Vermont we get a great deal of 
rain, and the hills are green as a 
result. One day a farmer was walk- 
ing down a back road, and it was 
very muddy, and suddenly he came 
upon a large puddle, and in the middle 
of the puddle he saw a straw hat. He 
thought he recognized it. He tiptoed 

over and lifted it up, and lo and be- 
hold under it was his friend Zeb, and 
he was right up to his neck in the mud. 

He said, "Zeb, it looks like you 
have a problem. Do you need some 

Zeb said, "No thanks, Zeke, I'll be 
all right. I have got a good horse 
under me." 

Well, I have felt that kind of opti- 
mism throughout this conference. Spir- 
itually speaking, we have some great 
horses under us, and I am grateful for 
that kind of faith and testimony. 

Just the other day Sister Dunn and I 
had a sweet experience in the mission 
home in Cambridge. A very wonderful 
couple sat before us investigating the 
Church, seeking answers to searching 
questions. In the course of our con- 
versation the question was raised, Has 
God really spoken to man today? 

I would like in these moments al- 
lotted to me to answer that question 
again for other honest seeking people. 

It was Tuesday — three days before 
the crucifixion. Standing in the court- 
yard of the temple, the Savior looked 
down upon the dark faces of those who 
were plotting to take his life. Said he: 

"Woe unto you, scribes and Phari- 
sees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto 
whited sepulchres, which indeed ap- 
pear beautiful outward, but are within 
full of dead men's bones, and of all 
uncleanness." (Matt. 23:27.) 

And while he was on the subject of 
dead men, Jesus pointed out to these 
people that they had no capacity to 
honor God's prophets, until they were 
dead. He said again: 

". . . ye build the tombs of the 
prophets, and garnish the sepulchres 
of the righteous, 

"And say, If we had been in the 
days of our fathers, we would not have 
been partakers with them in the blood 
of the prophets." 

But then Jesus added: "Wherefore ye 
be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye 
are the children of them which killed 
the prophets." (Matt. 23:29-31.) 

A moment later from the heights of 
the temple Jesus looked down upon the 
city and poured forth the sorrow of his 

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that 
killest the prophets, and stonest them 
which are sent unto thee, how often 
would I have gathered thy children 
together, even as a hen gathereth her 
chickens under her wings, and ye 
would not." (Matt. 23:37.) 

Here is an amazing paradox. Jesus 
was emphasizing one of the lessons of 
history, that the majority of the people 
have never been able to recognize a 
living prophet. In each generation they 
have idolized the prophets of the past, 
while they stoned the living prophets 
of the present. 

Can you believe with me that God 
could speak to men who were the com- 
mon clay of our generation? If you 
do, you are unusual, because the rest 
of the people follow the human ten- 
dency to look back and honor only the 
prophets who are dead. And look at 
the way they usually honor them: 

They place these prophets of the 
past on imaginary pedestals. 

They make a selection from their 

December 1969 


teachings that suit their own particu- 
lar fancy. 

And while honoring a few popular 
phrases that identify them with these 
great servants of God, they smugly go 
along their own way. 

But you cannot do this with living 
prophets. Why? Because living proph- 
ets will denounce those who profess 
allegiance to God, but follow the rash- 
ness of their own selfish lives. They 
will not allow men to pick their teach- 
ings to pieces and construct a crazy- 
quilt pattern of personal interpretation 
that suits fashion and private folly. 

Perhaps that is why prophets are 
never very popular while they are 
alive to defend the teachings that God 
has given to them. 

Do you know what your task and 
mine is? It is to discover whether or 
not God has raised up living prophets 
for our generation. 

The Bible teaches that whenever 
prophets are raised up, things will be- 
gin to happen. Doctrines will be made 
clear. New truths will be revealed. 
Prophecies will be pronounced. The 
kingdom of God will be revitalized — 
and every honest seeker after truth 
will be able to see the power with 
which the prophets of the past and of 
the present carry out their missions. 

You see, that is what convinced 
Israel, when Moses came down to them. 
This is what aroused Judah when Jere- 
miah appeared in their midst. Even in 
the days of the Savior, the antagonistic 
teachers of the law were "astonished 
at his doctrine: For he taught them as 
one having authority." (Matt 8:28-29.) 
And those who followed Jesus observed 
great power in his ministry. 

This is also the way to find out 
whether or not there are living proph- 
ets of God on the earth today. If there 
are, things will begin to happen. There 
will be new revelation, the power of 
prophecy, the authority of the priest- 
hood, and the capacity to revitalize the 
faith of every honest soul who hungers 
for a message from God for our genera- 

Do you think it is difficult to be a 
prophet? As you read the scriptures, 
you cannot help but be impressed with 
the fact that the calling of a prophet is 
a most difficult assignment. In fact, 
you will be astonished to find that 
when some of the prophets first re- 
ceived their callings they pleaded with 
the Lord not to send them forth. This 
was the case with Moses, who said, 
". . . they will not believe me. ... I 
am not eloquent." (Exod. 4:1, 10.) This 
was the case with Moses, who said, 
". . . all the people hate me; for I am 
slow of speech; wherefore am I thy 
servant?" (Moses 6:31.) And this was 
also the case with Jeremiah, who said, 
". . . behold, I cannot speak: for I am 
a child." (Jer. 1:6.) 

These men felt incapable. They felt 
there were others who would be more 
readily accepted. But in spite of their 
own feelings to the contrary, they went 
forth and delivered their messages be- 
cause God had called them. 

The same principle applied when 
Jesus selected his twelve apostles. He 
said to them, "Ye have not chosen me, 
but I have chosen you, and ordained 
you." (John 15:16.) 

And here's the clue to the way 
prophets are raised up! 

In the holy writ you will not find 
a single instance where God ever se- 
lected a professional holy man to be 
one of his prophets. In every case, the 
call came like a bolt out of the blue, 
often to men who considered them- 
selves weak and incapable, and were 
amazed that God should honor them 
with revelation and a prophetic calling. 

So' now we come to the crucial ques- 
tions: Have prophets of God been 
raised up in modern times? Have any 
revelations been recorded? Has any 
new light come back to the earth to 
solve the problems of our day? 

I suppose time would not permit in 
this conference to mention the many 
revelations that are contained in mod- 
ern scripture declaring this very thing. 
Perhaps no headlines in any newspaper 
could do justice to the thrilling an- 
nouncement that came during the past 
century to reaffirm the word of God 
to the children of men. Beginnning in 
the spring of 1820, the restoration of 
the gospel began. And notice how it 
came forth: 

God bypassed all the professional 
proponents of religion throughout the 
world and spoke to a humble, 14-year- 
old boy. Jewish tradition has it that 
this was exactly the age of Jeremiah 
when he received his first call. And, 
like Jeremiah, the young prophet was 
overwhelmed by his assignment. He 
was a youth. His education was limit- 
ed, his means were very modest. And 
he had a most ordinary name — Joseph 

But within three years, important 
things began to happen. Others were 
raised up to assist. New knowledge 
began to pour forth. Doctrines began 
to be clarified. Revelations were re- 

The original organization of the 
Church of Jesus Christ, which was 
lost sometime after the first century, 
was soon restored. The gospel came 
back into the earth in great power, just 
as Jesus had promised it would when 
his disciples asked him concerning the 
last days. 

At first, the work progressed slowly. 
People said God would not speak to a 
mere boy. They held aloft their scrip- 
tures containing the writings of proph- 
ets from the past and said that was all 
the revelation they wanted. They said 

the new young prophet was making up 
his revelations — that they were not 
from God. 

But this could have been expected. 
These people could not recognize a 
living prophet any more than the peo- 
ple at the time of Christ. Nevertheless, 
Joseph Smith recorded the prophecies 
and revelations that were given him. 

Ever since the gospel was restored, 
there have been living prophets of God 
upon the earth. They are with us to- 
day, and, of course, President McKay 
is listening with us. What is their 
calling? To strengthen our faith, to 
record the will of God for our genera- 
tion, to place peace in troubled hearts, 
and to prepare us to meet the chal- 
lenge of evil among men in the world 

The same God of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob has a message for the na- 
tions of the earth in this modern, jet- 
propelled era in which we live. It is 
as thrilling and vital as the message 
that came to Judah from Jeremiah, or 
to Israel from Moses. 

Recently I reread of an American 
boy — one of the several thousand who 
died in the battle of Iwo Jima, a place 
he probably had never heard of before 
the war took him there — who wrote 
in a little ten-cent notebook his last 
words, his survey of the world situa- 
tion-, as follows: 

"This is the time for new revela- 
tion. People don't think much about 
religion nowadays, but we need a voice 
from on high, brother, and I don't 
mean maybe. 

"This thing has got out of human 
ability to run. I'm no religious fanatic, 
but we are in a situation where some- 
thing better than human brains has 
got to give us advice." 

This was the last will and testament 
of a 20-year-old boy who died with 
the thought that mankind's predica- 
ment was one that only divine help 
might solve. That boy cried for new 
revelation, for a voice of spiritual 
authority from on high. 

More and more thoughtful people, 
each year, conclude that mankind needs 
new authority and revelation from 
God. My friends, it has come! 

I am honored today in this pulpit 
to declare to you and all who would 
be my listeners that God speaks to his 
children. He lives; he cares; and to 
those of you who have not yet had 
that special witness in your hearts, if 
you will be in tune with me now, as 
I declare to you with all the fervor of 
my soul that God lives, that Jesus is 
the Christ, that there is a living proph- 
et in the world today who reveals his 
mind and will, and that seated before 
you are the living oracles of that same 
divine Father, you will know that I 
speak the truth. In the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. O 


Improvement Era 

The Home Is to Teach 

A. Theodore Tuttle 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 

• This has been a glorious conference. 
Brothers and sisters, I have thrilled as 
I have listened to the counsel of in- 
spired men. I have made many resolu- 
tions to do and be better. 

I am grateful beyond expression for 
having been reared in a home of faith 
where testimony was nurtured early 
and continually. Today I bear you 
my testimony that I know that God 
lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that 
Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that 
President David O. McKay is a living 
prophet today. 

Frequently we perform marriages in 
the temple. These marriages are proper- 
ly called celestial marriages, temple 
sealings, or eternal marriages. The 
thing that we really do is to organize 
the most basic unit in the Church — the 
family. The family is the most impor- 
tant relationship in this life. In reality, 
the bride and groom are called to as- 
signments in the family from which 
they are never released, except by 
transgression. This is the one eternal 
unit which can exist in the presence 
of God. 

A man's home is his most important 
consideration; not his business nor 
farm nor political office, not even his 
church or civic service. It is his fam- 
ily. These other things only provide 
the means to become a provident hus- 
band and exemplary father. The most 
noble achievement of God or man is 
the glorified family unit. "No other 
success," President McKay has empha- 
sized, "can compensate for failure in 
the home." (The Improvement Era, 
June 1964, p. 445.) 

The family is a divine institution. 

The first family unit was organized by 
our Heavenly Father: "And the Lord 
God said, It is not good that the man 
should be alone; I will make him an 
help meet for him. 

"Therefore shall a man leave his 
father and his mother, and shall cleave 
unto his wife: and they shall be one 
flesh." (Gen. 2:18, 24.) 

The Lord has instructed his children 
in the basic family relationships. 

"Thou shalt love thy wife with all 
thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her 
and none else." (D&C 42:22.) 

"Husbands, love your wives, and be 
not bitter against them." (Col. 3:19.) 

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your 
own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." 
(Col. 3:18.) 

"Thou shalt live together in love. 
. . ." (D&C 42:45.) 

"Fathers, provoke not your children 
to anger, lest they be discouraged." 
(Col. 3:21.) 

"Children, obey your parents in all 
things: for this is well pleasing unto 
the Lord." (Col. 3:20.) 

The home is the source of happiness, 
serenity, and peace. Only in a home 
filled with unity and love can man or 
woman find the pure, undiluted heav- 
enly joys. There is no substitute, though 
Lucifer would tell men otherwise. 

The home is the teaching unit of the 
Church. The parents are the teachers. 
The course is more extensive than a 
university curriculum. Always parents 
are venturing through it for the first 
time. The classes start at birth and 
never terminate. There are some 
graduations, but the schooling con- 

Some mistakenly suppose that while 
children are young, they do not need 
their mother. Hence, she seeks employ- 
ment outside the home. Few things 
could be more detrimental to the fam- 
ily at any time. Bloom's study of a 
thousand children reveals that "it is 
especially noteworthy that for a num- 
ber of the most significant human 
characteristics the most rapid period of 
development appears to be in the first 
five years of life. . . . 

"The child enters first grade after 
having gone through perhaps the most 
rapid period of development which will 
take place throughout his life. . . . 
Much of the variation of children at 
the beginning of the first grade can be 
attributed to variations in the home 
environments as well as to hereditary 
influence." (Benjamin S. Bloom, Sta- 
bility and Change in Human Char- 

Someone is to teach children to pray, 
to walk uprightly before the Lord, to 
seek earnestly the riches of eternity, to 
teach faith, repentance, baptism, and 
the Holy Ghost, and to observe the 
Sabbath day. Children are to be taught 
to observe the Word of Wisdom — to 
abstain from the use of alcohol, to- 
bacco, tea, and coffee. Children are to 
be taught obedience to parents and the 

Somewhere they are to learn to be 
honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtu- 
ous, and to do good to all men. They 
are to be taught to honor their par- 
ents. They are to learn the meaning 
of integrity and work and service. 

The responsibility to teach all these 
things rests in the home. 

December 1969 


Children are not born with testi- 
monies of the divinity of this work. 
Testimony must be inculcated into 
their lives early and continually. The 
scriptures must be studied if we are to 
develop a generation of believers. 

Recently I was in the home of a fine 
stake president and participated in their 
daily scripture class. 

For the past year, he and his family 
have been reading the scriptures to- 
gether for 15 minutes each morning. In 
that time, they have completed their 
study of the Doctrine and Covenants, 
the Pearl of Great Price, and half the 
Book of Mormon. What a joy. What 
an example. A wise father. A sustain- 
ing mother. Fortunate children. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints is organized to help 
the family. No other organization pro- 
vides more help. The whole program 
of the Church is correlated to supple- 
ment the teachings of the home. The 
Church speaks out boldly against the 
common evil of this day — the deliberate 
limiting of families by birth control. It 
teaches, rather, the sacred obligation 
resting upon husband and wife to bring 
children into the world. 

"Lo, children are an heritage of the 
Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his 

"As arrows are in the hand of a 

mighty man; so are children of the 

"Happy is the man that hath his 
quiver full of them. . . ." (Ps. 127:3-5.) 

The Church counsels members to set 
aside one night each week to meet in 
a home night, to study and have fun 
and regulate the home affairs. Only 
those who follow this wise counsel 
know how eagerly youngsters respond 
to such an occasion. 

The Church sends home teachers to 
visit families at least monthly. They 
carry a message of encouragement. 
They are a second witness in the home. 

To assist families, the Church has 
organized a wide range of activities 
where young people can find whole- 
some companionship and personal 
development for all ages. 

It is a cardinal teaching of the 
Church that the man is the head of 
the family. He is to be the bread- 
winner. It teaches him how to preside 
in that home through his priesthood 
power. It teaches that the wife is to 
be a companion to her husband and 
stand by his side. There is to be no 
confusion as to the roles of husband 
and wife. Children are to identify 
with a strong, manly father. They 
identify with a lovely mother who 
sustains and supports but does not 
usurp the leadership of the father. The 

mother is queen of the home. The 
Church teaches that womanhood is 
glorified by motherhood. President 
McKay has said, "Wherever a woman 
is, or whatever a woman does, she is at 
her best, her divinest best, at home! 
There is the center of her power." 

The family as an institution is under 
tremendous pressure. It is important 
to know, therefore, that the family is 
a problem-solving unit. The husband 
and wife cannot generate more prob- 
lems than they can solve if they will 
follow the counsel the Lord has given. 
The solution to family problems is not 
separation, but repentance. 

Couples are to continue to court, to 
pray, to be one. They are to keep alive 
the magic and thrill of romance and 
learn how to express love. Couples 
young and old must learn to com- 
municate with one another. This one 
thing alone can solve most marital 

The challenge to the family is great. 
We are here to practice successful 
family living. Proper family living 
makes heaven on earth and develops 
Gods in embryo. Success in the home 
leads to the abundant life with our 
Eternal Father. May we all seek, ever 
more earnestly, for the eternal riches 
of a wholesome, honorable home, I 
pray in the name of Jesus Christ. O 

That Ye May Have Eternal Life 

Bishop Victor L. Brown 
Of the Presiding Bishopric 

- ■ 

■■ ■ ■ ■ . . 

: ■■.■■:.:..'.'■■'■■ 

• My brethren and sisters, I am grate- 
ful to be with you today and to have 
been taught by these wonderful 
brethren. I pray for an interest in your 
faith and prayers that I might say 
something that will have meaning. 

A few weeks ago while I was travel- 
ing abroad, a headline caught my eye. 
It was a report of a gathering of many 
thousands of young people in the state 

of New York. It was not a report 
that most Americans would be proud 
of. A reporter describing some other 
like gatherings pictured them in these 

"En masse, the gaily bedecked faith- 
ful presented an unsettling aspect, a 
ragtag mosaic of humanity suggesting 
anything from the Children's Crusade 
to the Vandals sacking Rome." As I 

read the report and contemplated the 
deplorable exhibition, I could not help 
but recall a conversation I had had 
with my 15-year-old son, a junior high 
school student. He said to me, "I am 
a different person now than I was at 
the beginning of school." I asked in 
what way, to which he replied, "I have 
a testimony that the gospel is true, 
which I did not have before." This had 


Improvement Era 

been his first year in seminary. I asked 
what the highlight of the' year had 
been. He replied without hesitation, 
"The lesson on eternal life." He said 
the only thing wrong was the time had 
been too short — they had only spent 
two weeks studying the subject. 

I must admit I was surprised that a 
15-year-old teenager would show such 
interest in this profound subject. Being 
curious as to the reaction of other 
young people of this same age, I ar- 
ranged a visit with a group of them. 
They were of the same opinion. The 
plan of life and salvation had affected 
them and many of the other students 
in a similar manner. It was interesting 
to note that these young people were 
thrilled with the knowledge that they 
had existed as intelligences and then 
as spirit children of their Heavenly 
Father before they were born into this 
life. They expressed a great relief to 
know that there were rewards and 
blessings resulting from righteous liv- 
ing that would last far beyond this life 
into the eternities. To them this gave 
real meaning and purpose to the estab- 
lishment of personal goals in life. This 
knowledge seemed to startle them into 
a realization that their individual con- 
duct would have a significant effect on 
what happened to them not only in 
this life but in the life after death. 

It seems that the lesson taught by 
Jacob, the brother of Nephi, as re- 
corded in the Book of Mormon became 
more meaningful to them: 

"But, behold, the righteous, the 
saints of the Holy One of Israel, they 
who have believed in the Holy One of 
Israel, they who have endured the 
crosses of the world, and despised the 
shame of it, they shall inherit the king- 
dom of God, which was prepared for 
them from the foundation of the world, 
and their joy shall be full forever." 
(2 Ne. 9:18.) 

Even at this young age, I believe they 
understood this life to be just a mo- 
ment in eternal life and that this is a 
probationary period during which each 
person proves himself. It seemed very 
encouraging to them to know that they 
were free agents with respect to choices 
in life — the kind of free agents spoken 
of by Lehi: 

"Wherefore, men are free according 
to the flesh; and all things are given 
them which are expedient unto man. 
And they are free to choose liberty and 
eternal life, through the great media- 
tion of all men, or to choose captivity 
and death, according to the captivity 
and power of the devil; for he seeketh 
that all men might be miserable like 
unto himself." (2 Ne. 2:27.) 

And Jacob said: "Therefore, cheer up 
your hearts, and remember that ye are 
free to act for yourselves — to choose the 

Bishop Brown stresses how knowledge 

of the plan of life 
gives personal direction 

way of everlasting death or the way of 
eternal life." (2 Ne. 10:23.) 

The contrast between these two 
groups of young people is obvious. One 
is trying to escape from life; the other 
is" anxious to be involved in life. I do 
not wish to delve into the reasons why 
one group has chosen captivity and the 
other liberty, but rather pray that I 
may be directed to say something that 
will cause those who have chosen cap- 
tivity, as well as those who are now at 
the crossroads of making their choices, 
to consider carefully their eternal 

It is my testimony that every person 
born into this world is a spirit child of 
God, that we did in very deed live with 
our Heavenly Father before taking a 
mortal body. This same knowledge is 
available to all, young and old, if they 
have a sincere desire to obtain it. A 
proper understanding of where we came 
from, why we are here, and where we 
are going should give each of us an 
inner feeling of security and personal 

As my young friends have learned in 
their seminary class, this is a life dur- 
ing which we prove ourselves. It is a 
period of probation during which we 
earn our place in the eternities. The 
Lord said of this: "And thus did I, the 
Lord God, appoint unto man the days 
of his probation " (D&C 29:43.) 

His whole purpose in coming to 
earth and submitting himself to be 
crucified on the cross was to loose the 
bands of death for all men — the righ- 
teous and the unrighteous — for he said: 
". . . this is my work and my glory — 
to bring to pass the immortality and 
eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39.) 
Beyond this, however, he taught us 
that there are many mansions in his 
Father's house and that he- would pre- 
pare the way for us. He describes 
these mansions or degrees of glory by 
referring to the universe — the bright- 
ness of the sun representing the highest 
degree of glory; the brightness of the 
moon, the next degree; and the stars, 
the lowest degree. Eternal life means 
achieving the highest degree, which is 
the celestial kingdom, or in other 
words, returning to the presence of our 
Father in heaven. This lesson deeply 
touched the hearts of the young semi- 
nary students with whom I visited. 

Of all the blessings the Lord has 

given us, this is the greatest. In the 
Doctrine and Covenants we read: "And, 
if you keep my commandments and 
endure to the end you shall have eter- 
nal life, which gift is the greatest of all 
the gifts of God." (D&C 14:7.) This 
being true, it would behoove all men 
to so order their lives as to be worthy 
of exaltation. 

We further learn from sacred scrip- 
ture what must be done to attain eter- 
nal life: 

". . . For the gate by which ye should 
enter is repentance and baptism by 
water; and then cometh a remission of 
your sins by fire and by the Holy 

"And then are ye in this straight and 
narrow path which leads to eternal 
life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; 
ye have done according to the com- 
mandments of the Father and the 
Son; and ye have received . . . the ful- 
filling of the promise which he hath 
made, that if ye entered in by the way 
ye should receive. 

"And now, my beloved brethren, 
after ye have gotten into this straight 
and narrow path, I would ask if all is 
done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for 
ye have not come thus far save it were 
by the word of Christ with unshaken 
faith in him, relying wholly upon the 
merits of him who is mighty to save. 

"Wherefore, ye must press forward 
with a steadfastness in Christ, having 
a perfect brightness of hope, and a love 
of God and of all men. Wherefore, if 
ye shall press forward, feasting upon 
the word of Christ, and endure to the 
end, behold, thus, saith the Father: Ye 
shall have eternal life." (2 Ne. 31:17- 

These lessons — where we came from, 
why we are here, where we are going — 
have touched the hearts of many young 
people. They have provided a stability. 
a feeling of security, a feeling of hu- 
mility and yet personal worth, that 
give purpose and direction to their 
lives. This knowledge helps them to 
rise above the confusion, strife, and 
evil that are so prevalent in the world 

I pray that the Lord will bless young 
and old alike that they too may come 
to the knowledge that these things are 
true, which I testify to you as being 
true, in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. Q 

December 1969 


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In the Church, Man Does 
Not Live for Himself Alone 


President David O. McKay 

(Read by his son Robert R. McKay) 

• My dear brethren and sisters: 

This has been in a remarkable 
manner an outstanding, spiritual con- 
ference. We have experienced the 
spiritual, the divine in man; the su- 
preme crowning gift that makes him 
king of all created beings. Spirituality 
is the consciousness of victory over self, 
the consciousness of being above the 
passions, whether in anger or jealousy, 
or envy, or hatied. To feel that you 
can be above those animal-like feelings 
is to experience spirituality, and every 

man and woman whose heart burned 
when he or she heard the testimonies 
of these brethren during the sessions 
of this conference experienced that 
spirituality. It is the realization of 
communion with Deity. No higher 
attainment can be reached than that. 
We have met during a critical time 
in the history of our own great coun- 
try and in the history of the world. I 
have been impressed with the answers 
that have been given through the 
brethren to some of the false ideologies 

and teachings that are rampant in the 
world. One of these false teachings 
is that man is not a spiritual being, 
but that he is just as any other animal, 
subject to his passions, subject to his 
yearnings, desires, and justified in 
his ambitions, no matter how many 
others may suffer in that achievement. 
We have heard during the sessions 
of this conference that man is a dual 
being: He is physical, and has his 
appetites, passions, desires, just as any 
animal has. But he is also a spiritual 


Improvement Era 

being; and he knows that to subdue 
the animal instincts is to achieve ad- 
vancement in his spiritual realm; that 
a man who is subjected to his physical 
appetites and passions only, who de- 
nies any reality of a spirit, is truly of 
the animal world; and that man is a 
spiritual being, and his real life is the 
spirit that inhabits his body. 

President John Quincy Adams gave 
a good illustration of this when he 
was accosted on the streets of Boston 
one day and was asked, "How is John 
Quincy Adams today?" 

He answered, as he tottered along 
with his cane, "John Quincy Adams is 
well, thank you, quite well. But the 
house in which he lives is tottering on 
its foundations, the windows are shak- 
ing, the roof is leaking, the doors are 
not hanging straight; and I think John 
Quincy Adams will have to move out 
of it soon. But John Quincy Adams 
himself, sir, is quite well, I thank you, 
quite well!" He sensed that the real 
John Quincy Adams was an immortal 
being, a son of a Father in heaven. 

That is one great truth to which 
testimony has been borne in this con- 
ference — that man is spirit, the son of 
his Father, and has within him that 
which will cause him to yearn and 
to aspire to become dignified as a son 
of God should be dignified. The dig- 
nity of man, not the degradation of 
man, has been emphasized throughout 
this conference. 

Another false ideal that has been 
mentioned as rampant among people 
in this country and especially among 
millions in atheistic countries in the 
world is the denial of the existence of 
God. Every man who has spoken at 
this conference, I think without ex- 
ception, has borne witness and testified 
that God lives. There has also been 
quoted the evidence of men who have 
lived through the ages who have borne 
that same testimony. Many scientists 
today, honorable, honest men, who are 
giving their all to help their fellow 
beings, testify that there is a God. I 
received a visit in my apartment just 
a year ago from one of our own eminent 
scientists — Philo T. Farnsworth — who 
testified to me that he knows that he 
was directed by a higher source in 
gaining his scientific knowledge, and 
that he knows that God lives. 

Thank heaven there are hundreds of 
thousands of people who believe that 
testimony and repudiate the claims of 
the Communists, who boast that man 
is his own god, and who have already 
poisoned the minds of their people for 
the past forty or fifty years with the 
thought that God does not exist and 
that Jesus Christ is a myth. I wish to 
emphasize the fact that this great 
conference has testified to the hundreds 

of thousands listening in from all over 
the world that God lives, and further- 
more that Jesus is his Beloved Son, the 
Savior of the world. 

We have also testified to the world 
that man is not living for himself, that 
his selfish desires should be overcome 
and controlled, and that he should 
render service to others. One of the 
greatest sayings of Jesus when he was 
among the Twelve was the one that 
touched upon that same principle: "He 
that findeth his life shall lose it [that 
is the selfish part] : and he that loseth 
his life for my sake shall find it." 
(Matt. 10:39.) A paradoxical state- 
ment, but oh, how true! 

I am grateful for membership in a 
church whose religion fits men for the 
struggle with the forces of the world 
and enables them to survive in this 
struggle. One of these acting forces is 
the responsibility of teaching and the 
opportunity afforded in this church 
for our local officers — stake presiden- 
cies, bishoprics, priesthood quorums, 
and others — to share in this responsi- 
bility. The obligation of teaching is 
placed by the Church first upon the 
parents, and the responsibility thereof 
has been placed upon them by divine 
command. But besides parents, there 
are tens of thousands of men and 
women who have accepted the respon- 
sibility of leading and teaching the 
young and the adults. In the priest- 
hood quorums alone the number runs 
into many thousands. And if we add 
mothers and fathers, general officers, 
and young men and women in the 
Sunday School, the Mutual Improve- 
ment Associations, the Primary, the 
seminaries, and women in the Relief 
Society, we have an army of teachers 
who have the privilege and responsi- 
bility of exercising what Martin Luther 
calls "one of the highest virtues upon 

Think what the Church is doing to 
help this army of leaders and teachers 
as individuals to become strong in the 
battle against the forces of the world! 

First, it places upon them the obliga- 
tion of teaching their fellowmen by 
example, and there is no better safe- 
guard placed upon an honest man or a 
sincere woman. 

Second, it develops the divine attri- 
bute of love for others. Jesus asked one 
of his apostles, "Simon, son of Jonas, 
lovest thou me more than these? 
. . . Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love 
thee. . . ." And Jesus answered, "Feed 
my lambs." (John 21:15.) Love should 
precede the responsibility of feeding 
those lambs. And these tens of thou- 
sands of teachers must have in their 
hearts the love of teaching, the love 
of their fellowmen, and a willingness 
to accept this responsibility with the 

divine attribute of love. 

The third requirement is purity of 
life. I cannot imagine an impure 
person teaching purity to young boys 
and girls. I cannot imagine one who 
has doubt in his mind about the ex- 
istence of God impressively teaching 
the existence of Deity to young boys 
and girls. He cannot do it! If a leader 
or a teacher acts the hypocrite and 
attempts so to lead and teach, what 
he is will speak louder than what he 
says; and that is the danger of having 
doubting men as leaders and teachers 
of our children. The poison sinks in, 
and unconsciously they become sick in 
spirit because of the poison that the 
person in whom they had confidence 
has insidiously instilled into their souls. 
So the third qualification is purity of 
life and faith in the gospel. 

Finally, it gives these leaders and 
teachers an opportunity to serve their 
fellowmen and thereby magnify the 
calling that has come to them and, 
indeed, to prove that they are real 
disciples of Christ. "Inasmuch as ye 
have done it unto one of the least of 
these my brethren, ye have done it 
unto me." (Matt. 25:40.) Thus the 
divine principle of service is instilled 
in their hearts. 

With all my heart I say, God bless 
and guide you leaders and teachers of 
our stakes, wards, and missions, you 
parents, you men of the priesthood, you 
temple presidencies, and our mission- 
aries all over the world. God bless and 
protect our valiant young men who are 
in the armed forces of our country; God 
bless their loved ones. 

I am grateful for and pray that God 
will continue to direct and bless our 
General Authorities who have inspired 
us with their messages during the ses- 
sions of this great conference. 

I bear you my testimony that the 
head of this Church is our Lord and 
Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the Re- 
deemer of the world. I know of the 
reality of his existence, of his willing- 
ness to guide and direct all who serve 
him. I know that in this dispensation 
he restored with his Father, through 
the Prophet Joseph Smith, the gospel of 
Jesus Christ in its fullness. I know that 
one of the glorious messages given by 
Christ, our Redeemer, is that the spirit 
of man passes triumphantly through 
the portals of death into everlasting 
life. To him, this earthly career is but 
a day and its closing but the setting 
of life's sun; death but a sleep, followed 
by a glorious awakening in the morning 
of an eternal realm. 

May God bless you all, and may he 
guide and help you that righteousness, 
harmony, and love for one another may 
dwell in each home, I pray in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. O 

December 1969 


Holiday Cookies 

Yi cup soft butter 
J 4 cup sifted U and I 
Powdered Sugar 


1 tbsp. vanilla 
V/i cups flour 
'« tsp. salt 

Heat oven to 350° (moderate). Mix butter, sugar, 
vanilla. Blend in flour and salt thoroughly with hand. 
Add food coloring, if desired. Wrap level tbsp. dough 
around filling. Bake 1" apart on ungreased baking 
sheet 12 to 15 minutes, until set but not brown. Dip 
tops of warm cookies in icing. Decorate. 
Makes 20 to 25 cookies. 

CHOCOLATE DOUGH: Add 1 sq. unsweetened 
chocolate (1-oz.) melted. 

BROWN SUGAR DOUGH: Use Vi cup brown sugar 
(packed) in place of powdered sugar. 

ICING: Mix 1 cup sifted U and I Powdered Sugar, 2 tbsp. 
cream, 1 tsp. vanilla. Add food coloring. For Chocolate: . 
Add 1 sq. unsweetened (1-oz.) melted, and use 
W cup cream. 


1. Wrap a cherry, date, nut, chocolate piece, etc. in 
Bon Bon Cookie dough — white (or tinted), chocolate, 
or brown sugar. Or make the center itself of dough, 
mixed with chopped nuts or dates, etc.— then wrap. 

2. Dip in icing after baking. You can vary your icings, 
chocolate, white, and assorted colors. 

3. Top with coconut, nuts, colored sugar, chocolate 
pieces or any other colorful toppings. 

Where is Sugarplum Land? It's all around you if you live 
where sugarbeets are grown. U and I Sugar sweetens the 
economy of these areas. 

U and I SUGAR COMPANY Factories in Garland and West Jordan, Utah; 
near Idaho Falls, Idaho; Moses Lake and Toppenish, Washington. 

Today's Family 






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By Eleanor Knowles 

Editorial Associate 

Illustrated by Ginger Brown 

"'Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of 
'Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 

"Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have 
seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. . . . 

". . . and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, 
till it came and stood over where the young child was. 

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 

"And when they were come into the house, they saw the child with 
Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him; and when they 




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had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and 
frankincense, and myrrh." (Matt. 2:1-2, 9-11.) 

This beautiful passage from Matthew describes what is probably the 
beginning of one of our loveliest traditions: the giving of gifts at Christ- 
mas time. 

Gift-giving in a society of mass media and advertising, of compara- 
tive affluence, of generally easy accessability to' stores, has become to 
an extent commercialized. This is fine if gifts are selected with care 
and thoughtfulness and with the receiver in mind, for one can bring 
great joy by presenting gifts that fulfill the desires of those on his 
list. However, there may be even greater joy in giving gifts that money 
can't buy, gifts that truly come from the heart and show extra thought- 
fulness on the part of the giver. Such gifts often cost little in actual 
financial expense, but they do require expenditure of a most precious 
possession: time. These are truly gifts of the heart. 

For example, a mother with four small children wondered what they 
would be able to give their daddy that would show they thought of him 
not only at Christmas but also during all the year. Together they made 
up a list of small chores and ways in which they could serve him in the 
home, such as fetching the newspaper for him when he came home from 
work, baking him a favorite dessert, shining his shoes. The mother 
secured a roll of cash-register tape from a nearby store, and they marked 
it off for 365 days. For each day they listed a special favor and the 
child who would perform it that day. Each month the calendar of 
gifts for that month was posted on the family's bulletin board, to remind 
the children of their responsibilities, This was a gift that truly lasted 
all year long. 

A college coed with little extra cash made up gift certificates. On 
each one she noted what she would do for the receiver for that year. 
For a roommate, she promised help with making a formal dress for the 
Junior Prom. For the next-door neighbors, who had small children, she 
promised a certain number of nights of free baby sitting. For an elderly 
aunt, she offered to run errands. 

Such gift certificates can be made easily with parchment or con- 
struction paper or blank white cards, gold or silver inks, felt-tip pens, 
drawings and cut-outs, poems and quotations, and colorful ribbons. 
The gifts of time might include lessons in art, music, cooking, languages, 
or anything in which one is proficient; chauffeur service for elderly or 
handicapped persons; gifts of homemade cakes, breads, or other food 
items; vacation service— offering to help neighbors or relatives care for 
lawns, mail, newspapers, and other things while they are away from 

Busy parents can give "time cards" to children, promising periods 
of uninterrupted time devoted exclusively to the interests of the children. 

A gift of special significance to family members might be a family 
book of remembrance or scrapbook. One young woman typed up family 
histories and group sheets and had copies made for each of her brothers 
and sisters. This takes research and needs to be done over a period of 
time, but why not resolve right now to do this for next Christmas? 

Gifts from the heart can help bring neighbors together. One Latter- 
day Saint family moved to a neighborhood in Pennsylvania, where they 
were isolated by distance from other members of the Church. On 
Christmas Eve they wrapped in gay paper and ribbons jars of homemade 

Improvement Era 

jelly and took them to their neighbors. Through this Christmas-time 
contact they made many new friends and were even able to interest 
several persons in the Church. Another family of teenagers has a tradition 
of making yule logs, which they delivered to their neighbors on Christmas 
eve as they go caroling. 

An MIA teacher in a metropolitan city invites young persons who 
are living away from home to join her two or three times during the 
Christmas season to carol at rest homes, hospitals, and other places where 
Christmas can be a lonely time. They have even found a receptive 
audience at a nearby fire station! 

Homemade gifts— items that cost little in materials but do take time 
to make— are always welcome. Imaginative wrappings and containers 
can make even a plain loaf of bread or pound cake eye- and taste-appeal- 
ing. Here are several suggestions for homemade gifts from the kitchen, 
gifts of the sort that money can't buy: 

Frozen Strawberry Jam 

iy 2 lb s. whole frozen unsweetened 
4 cups sugar 
2 tablespoons lemon juice 

Place strawberries in large, broad kettle; 
mix with 2 cups sugar and let stand 
until partially thawed. Heat to full, 
rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil 2 
minutes, continuing to stir. Add re- 
maining sugar. Again heat to boiling. 
Stir constantly while mixture boils 3 
minutes. Remove from heat and add 
lemon juice. Pour jam into a large 
bowl. Stir it frequently, each time skim- 
ming off any foam that appears on the 
surface (stirring is important, as it pre- 
vents strawberries from floating to the 
top of the jam). Cover bowl and let 
stand overnight. Then ladle jam into 
sterilized jars. Cover each jar with a 
layer of paraffin about one-eighth inch 
thick. Screw jar lids tightly. Store in 

Spiced Nuts 

1 teaspoon vanilla 
chopped pecans 
candied cherries, chopped 

Cream the butter and sugar together. 
Add the egg yolks and beat until well 
blended. Sift the salt and flour to- 
gether, and stir into the first mixture. 
Add the vanilla. Shape into balls about 
the size of walnuts. Fork-beat the egg 
whites slightly with about a teaspoon 
of water. Roll the balls in this, then in 
chopped pecans. Place on a greased 
cookie sheet, and press a bit of candied 
cherry into the top of each. Bake at 
350° F. about 20 minutes. Makes about 
3 dozen cookies. 

Cranberry-Banana Bread 


2 /3 


13/ 4 


y 2 

y 2 





cup sugar 

tablespoon cinnamon 
teaspoon ground cloves 

cup shortening 
cup sugar 

cups sifted enriched flour 
teaspoons baking powder 
teaspoon salt 
teaspoon soda 

cup coarsely chopped walnuts 
cup mashed ripe bananas 
cup drained fresh-cooked cran- 
berry sauce 

Ya teaspoon nutmeg 
1 egg white 

1 cup nut meats (almonds, pecans, 
walnuts, Brazil nuts) 

In a small bowl mix sugar, cinnamon, 
cloves, and nutmeg. In another bowl 
beat egg white slightly. Add, a few at a 
time, the nuts, rubbing them in the egg 
white with your fingers to coat them 
thoroughly. Drop nuts into the bowl of 
sugar and spices and coat each nut 
completely. Place on a buttered cookie 
sheet. Bake 30 minutes at 300° F. 

Pecan Balls 

1 cup butter 
y 2 cup sugar 

2 eggs, separated 
y R teaspoon salt 

1% cups all-purpose flour 

Cream shortening with sugar; add eggs, 
one at a time, beating well after each 
addition. Sift dry ingredients together; 
add nuts. Add flour mixture alternately 
with mashed bananas to creamed mix- 
ture, beating well after each addition. 
Fold in cranberries. Pour into a greased 
loaf pan. Bake in a moderate oven 
(350° F.) 60 to 65 minutes, or until 
done. Cool before slicing. 

Fruit Bars 

1 cup figs 

1 cup pitted dates 

2 cups walnuts 

Put figs and dates through food chop- 
per. Add walnuts and mix well. Press 
firmly into a buttered pan about 9 
inches square, or shape with your fin- 
gers into balls. Roll in powdered sugar. 
Makes about 1 l / iX pounds. Q 

December 1969 


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The Presiding Bishop 
Talks to Youth About: 

The Bishop's Youth Council 

• Today's vibrant and going gen- 
eration of young people seems to 
be earnestly seeking the best way 
to make a contribution to society. 
All that seems to be missing in 
many cases is proper identification 
of what needs to be done and some 
inspired direction on how to do it. 
In my opinion, the bishop's youth 
council can help to provide that 
identification of purpose and show 
the way to accomplish it. 

Stated in its simplest terms, the 
bishop's youth council is a correla- 
tion of youth thinking and effort 
toward the accomplishment of 
God's purposes under the guid- 
ance of priesthood leadership. 
There are those who might regard 
the bishop's youth council as a 
new organization in the ward. Such 
is not the case. This capable 
group of youth leaders and adult 
advisers should be more properly 
thought of as a coordinating body 
under the direction of the bishop, 
meeting at appropriate intervals 

By Bishop John H. Vandenberg 

to determine how best the youth 
might help to implement the exist- 
ing programs of the Church. 
Youth's eternal destiny depends 
upon their being doers and not 
hearers of the word only. They 
have a strong desire to do. They 
are built that way. The Lord has 
sent them here for that purpose. 
Each is richly endowed with the 
power to achieve when given the 
chance. The bishop's youth coun- 
cil provides better opportunity for 
them to realize their God-given po- 
tential through priesthood-oriented 
activities and through auxiliary 
programs of the Church properly 
executed with the enthusiasm and 
desire of youth. 

It is my sincere concern that 
the young men be properly pre- 
pared with the basic experiences 
and knowledge necessary to some- 
day take upon themselves the oath 
and covenant of the Melchizedek 
Priesthood and that they might 
take it upon themselves righteous- 

ly, meaningfully, and on schedule. 
There is equal concern for the 
young women of the Church. We 
know that the covenants that they 
will make at the altar of the temple 
will, in most instances, be the 
same as the covenants made by 
the priesthood. Exaltation in this 
Church contemplates the prepara- 
tion of both young men and young 
women. To neglect one or the 
other is unthinkable. 

The priesthood programs of the 
Church are now being emphasized 
in the curriculum for youth, in 
both priesthood and auxiliaries. 
There is, for example, special 
emphasis on the eternal family 
concept for deacons and for girls 
of corresponding ages. The broth- 
erhood concept of the welfare and 
home teaching programs is the 
focus for the teacher and the girls 
of that age. Building the kingdom, 
the mission of life, and the prose- 
lyting missionary program are the 
concepts for the priests and young 


Improvement Era 

women of that age. The bishop's 
youth council gives young men and 
young women opportunities to help 
plan and to help implement the on- 
going programs of the Church to 
their own individual growth and 
development in the doing. 

The purposes of the bishop's 
youth council can be summarized 
in the following five points: 

1. A two-way communication be- 
tween the youth and their bishop. 

2. The accomplishment of 
Church programs with the help 
and spirit of youth. 

3. The opportunity for decision- 
making and planning by the young 

4. An opportunity for maximum 
youth involvement as they perform 
service to others. 

5. An excellent opportunity for 
youth leadership training. 

"My house is a house of order," 
declared the Lord. Goals are best 
accomplished through planning 
and organization. Officers in the 
bishop's youth council are: the 
bishop and his counselors; an 
executive secretary, one of three 
priests quorum representatives, 
called by the bishop; and an as- 
sistant to the executive secretary, 
the Laurel president, who is called 
by the bishop. Other youth mem- 
bers of the council are the quorum 
and class presidencies of the vari- 
ous Aaronic Priesthood and YWMIA 

Effective this year, Laurel, Mia 
Maid, and Beehive class presi- 
dencies are to be appointed by 
the bishop. . The proposed class 
president should be allowed the 
privilege of recommending to the 
bishop for his consideration and 
approval the girls she feels should 
be appointed as her assistants. 

Adult members of the council in 
addition to the bishopric are lead- 
ers of youth in the ward, both 
priesthood and auxiliary. It should 
be noted that adult council mem- 

bers will be invited to meetings as 
needed. Youth initiative and 
leadership should always be 
sought. Other adult leaders of 
the ward — priesthood and auxiliary 
teachers and activity directors — 
may be considered as resource 
personnel to be utilized as needed. 

Task committees should be ap- 
pointed for specific activities and 
events. Task committee members 
need not be members of the bish- 
op's youth council. The youth 
chairman will conduct the meet- 
ings and follow up to see that 
committee members fulfill their 
assigned functions. At least one 
adult council member should be 
assigned to each task committee. 
Task committee advisers should 
encourage maximum youth partici- 
pation. After an activity has been 
held, the task committee should 
make a full report to the bishop. 
That committee should then be 
disbanded with appropriate com- 
mendation from the committee 
chairman and adult leaders. 

There is no stake youth council 
as such. However, in the event of 
a multi-ward or stake event, the 
stake president may want to invite 
appropriate members of the vari- 
ous bishop's youth councils to be 
involved as a task committee to 
plan and carry out the proposed 
function. Each of these committees 
would, of course, be temporary in 
nature and should be disbanded 
following the completion of the 
assignment or activity with appro- 
priate commendation to partici- 
pating members. The same 
procedure should be followed for 
regional activities — for example, a 
youth conference involving several 

In summary, the following points 
are significant concerning the 
bishop's youth council: 

1. It involves young men and 
young women working together. 

2. It helps to make youth a co- 

hesive group. It helps to do away 
with cliques. 

3. It establishes better contact 
between the bishop and the youth 
— a two-way channel of communi- 

4. It helps the priests, the 
teachers, and the deacons to work 
together as an Aaronic Priesthood 
unit. It provides basic lessons in 
Church government and service. 

5. It adds a special priesthood 
dimension to the social and cul- 
tural programs of the Church. It 
helps the youth to use the priest- 
hood as the focal point of their 

6. The teaching process that 
includes an experience contributes 
best to true learning. The bishop's 
youth council provides a laboratory 
of experiences. 

7. The idea of a bishop's youth 
council is not new. It is an integral 
part of the correlation concept 
that brings auxiliaries and the 
priesthood into an effective corre- 
lated effort. 

8. The council is not an or- 
ganization and should not be used 
as such. It is merely a tool to 
help existing organizations per- 
form the functions in a priesthood 
frame of reference. 

Never before has the adversary 
had more destructive devices 
available than he has today. Never 
before have conspiring men been 
better disguised or so completely 
accepted as they seek to deceive 
and sabotage one's efforts to find 
true happiness. It is also apparent 
that never in the history of man 
have there been more choice 
spirits sent to the earth. However, 
one thing is abundantly clear: each 
young person must be trained and 
actively involved in a good cause to 
withstand these undesirable influ- 
ences. I am convinced that young 
people with opportunity such as 
the bishop's youth council provides 
will be capable of success. o 

December 1969 



— * 

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■ • Call (801) 486-1892 a 

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^f> Bindery • Shipping and Mailing ^ 


Rent the latest in inspirational LDS 
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To insure that the film will be 
available when you want it, 
reserve the film at the earliest 
possible date. Circulation of 
some films is limited. Reserva- 
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5. BYU Bay Area Film Center 

c/o Association Films, Inc., 
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The Church 
A/loves On 


September 1969 

New stake presidencies: Oral G. 
Stewart and counselors Walter W. Bow- 
man and Joseph H. Ivie, Blaine (Idaho) 
Stake; David C. Richards and coun- 
selors Ivan L. Hobson, Jr., and Arthur 
Eugene Gabriel, Dallas (Texas) Stake. 

Formation of an overall Unified 
Social Services Program that, as it 
expands, will develop extensive volun- 
teer services was announced by the 
First Presidency. It incorporates three 
of the special primary youth and child 
services — the Indian Student Place- 
ment program, the youth guidance 
program, and the Relief Society social 
services. Elder Marion G. Romney of 
the Council of the Twelve will be chair- 
man of the Unified Social Services 
Committee, with Marvin J. Ashton, re- 
cently released as first assistant gen- 
eral superintendent of the Young Men's 
Mutual Improvement Association, as 
managing director. 

id New stake presidency: Willis H. 
Yost succeeds President Delmar E. 
Simpson, deceased, South Idaho Falls 
(Idaho) Stake. President Yost's coun- 
selors are John M. Sharp and Harold 
G. Hillam. Other new stake presiden- 
cies: President Mark G. Ricks and 
counselors Gordon S. Thatcher and 
Keith L. Sellers, Rexburg (Idaho) Stake; 
President Boyd F. Schenk and coun- 
selors Richard G. Rees and Walter G. 
Wiest, St. Louis (Missouri) Stake. 

October 1969 

U The annual general conference of 
the 322,500-member Relief Society 

Improvement Era 

opened with an officers' meeting in 
the morning, an afternoon general 
session, both in the Tabernacle, and 
an evening reception in the Relief So- 
ciety building. 

EA A two-day meeting for Regional 
Representatives of the Council of the 
Twelve concluded today. 

Departmental sessions were the order 
of the day for the Relief Society con- 

The Deseret Sunday School Union 
opened its four-day conference with 
training sessions and a media fair in 
the Salt Palace. 

The 139th Semiannual General 
Conference of the Church convened in 
the Salt Lake Tabernacle. President 
David 0. McKay did not personally 
attend any of the sessions on the ad- 
vice of his physicians. 

Elder Marvin J. Ashton, 54, former 
YMMIA first assistant general superin- 
tendent, was sustained as an Assistant 
to the Council of the Twelve. He was 
appointed a week ago as managing 
director of the new Unified Social 
Services Program of the Church. 

A special meeting for stake patriarchs 
was held in the Assembly Hall this 
evening, while the general session of 
the Deseret Sunday School Union con- 
ference was held in the Salt Lake 

Many missionary reunions were 
held this evening. 

mm An early-morning Church Welfare 
Program meeting was held in the As- 
sembly Hall. 

General conference sessions con- 
tinued today. 

General priesthood meeting con- 
vened this evening in the Salt Lake 
Tabernacle, with the services carried 
by direct wire to additional congre- 
gations of priesthood bearers in the 
Assembly Hall and in approximately 
560 other buildings throughout the 
United States and Canada. 

Other missionary reunions were 
held throughout the Salt Lake Valley. 

The 139th Semiannual General 
Conference of the Church closed today. 
Parts or all of the general sessions 
were broadcast by over three hundred 
radio and television stations through- 
out the world. This was the first con- 
ference for which overflow seating was 
provided in the Salt Palace. 

The appointments of John H. Gro- 
berg and Raymond W. Eldredge as 
Regional Representatives of the Coun- 
cil of the Twelve were announced, 
bringing to 73 the number of Regional 

Eighteen regions centered in Salt 
Lake and Davis counties in Utah have 
been combined into four multiple 
region operations for the more effective 
operation of the Welfare Program, it 
was announced. The new designations 
are Kaysville, Welfare Square, Granger, 
and Murray. 

The hospital and medical division of 
the welfare division of the Church has 
been transferred for administrative 
purposes to the General Church Wel- 
fare Committee, it was announced. 


The reappointment of Verl F. Scott, 
business manager of The improvement 
Era, to the general board of the Young 
Men's Mutual Improvement Associa- 
tion was announced. 

The appointment of Arthur R. Wat- 
kins to the general board of the Deseret 
Sunday School Union was announced. 

New stake presidencies: President 
Joseph A. Proksch and counselors Dar- 
rell J. Nef and J. Wilmer Rigby, Salmon 
River (Idaho) Stake; President Joseph 
R. Hilton and counselors Ronald W. B. 
Wyatt and William F. Matthews, Walnut 
Creek (California) Stake. 

ill Workmen are busy refinishing the 
Brigham Young Monument at South 
Temple and Main streets, Salt Lake 
City. When completed in about two 
weeks, the monument will have re- 
cessed lights and new granite at the 
base, and the figures will be cleaned 
and highlighted. 




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December 1969 


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Buffs and Rebuffs 

Genealogical Humor 

In reading "Our Kind of Humor" [July], 
I noticed you listed several unusual 
names. While my sister was employed at 
the Genealogical Society some years ago, 
she found a name that I believe takes 
the grand prize: Mary Jane Molly Tolly 
Beautyskin Cabbagehead Slade Welling- 
ton McRoberts. 

Elder Kim J. Plouzek 
Finnish Mission 
Helsinki, Finland 

The Genealogical Society confirms the 
accuracy of the name. 

Mormon Migration 

No one surpasses Brother T. Edgar Lyon 
in vitalizing Church history. His ten "Un- 
common Aspects of the Mormon Migra- 
tion" [September] engendered life into 
history. What a film could be made 
pointing out the uncommon but signifi- 
cant role of the Mormon pioneers in win- 
ning the West! 

Mary Jane Groberg 
West Jordan, Utah 

Academic Success 

The article "To LDS Students" [Septem- 
ber] lists three gospel principles along 
with the Word of Wisdom as the sure- 
fire formula for guaranteed success. 
While it is commendable and beneficial 
to apply gospel principles not only to 
academics but to all phases of the life 
experience, success in scholastic pursuits 

will continue to rest quite heavily on such 
things as natural endowment, personal 
background, proper study habits, and 
hard work. These items also check with 
the scriptures. 

Neil Larson 
West Jordan, Utah 

Christian Love 

Referring to "Christian Love" [Septem- 
ber], this is the love Christ felt. While 
I cannot be presumptuous enough to ex- 
plain what our beloved Savior felt when 
he loved, I know his love is at least as 
warm as mine and probably far deeper 
and greater. 

Christian love is a very deep, warm 
affection (feeling), and is not a cold act 
of goodwill. Every person capable of 
Christian love has goodwill. However, 
they are not the same. Goodwill is ab- 
solutely necessary, but it is not Christian 
love. Christian love is expressed in deep- 
ly affectionate and sometimes compas- 
sionate behavior. To me, it reflects the 
lover as tolerant and forgiving as Jesus 
when he said, "Father, forgive them: for 
they know not what they do," and when 
he said, "Greater love hath no man than 
this, that a man lay down his life for his 

Christian love is an emotion so deep 
that it not only affects the intellect and 
the feelings, but the whole body. It is a 
substance that envelops one in ecstasy 
and exultation. When one has Christian 
love, one is not concerned whether the 
recipient will obtain benefits greater 
than the lover. Christian love is akin to a 
very good mother's love in bringing joy 
to her offspring. One who has Christian 
love enjoys being good to people. He 
understands the weaknesses of others and 
loves them notwithstanding. 
Louis Paul 
Hesperia, California 

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City and State. 



In Time of Need 

A few days ago I was in need of help. 
I was in deep depression. I knelt down 
by my bed and prayed for some kind of 
help. I came into my living room and 
saw The Improvement Era, which had 
come the day before, but I had been too 
depressed to open it. I picked it up and 
began looking through it. I found peace 
of mind* when I read "Buffs and Re- 
buffs" and found so many people were 
"parents in waiting." We too are "par- 
ents in waiting"— for a daughter to give 
birth to a grandchild to be born out of 
wedlock. This is different, but our sor- 
row is as real as the parents of other 
children who have strayed. 

We love our daughter with all our 
heart, and feel that Satan would like to 
destroy us parents through discourage- 
ment, feelings of disgrace, or any way he 
can. I for one feel his temptations and 

The Era is a wonderful magazine. I 
have found comfort from its pages many 
times, and this last time I received com- 
fort in a section where I would never 
have expected to find it. 

Another Parent in Waiting 

On Meat 

Concerning the article "An 1833 Guide 
for the Prevention of Heart Disease" by 
Dr. Ray G. Cowley [August]: 

Coronary heart disease is a compli- 
cated disease, and research indicates it is 
not related to a single factor. The situa- 
tions quoted by Dr. Cowley include 
other factors than protein consumption. 
There is no scientific data that can point 
out protein as a single factor in cardio- 
vascular disease, but there is some evi- 
dence that protein consumption decreases 
blood cholesterol. Evidence is also avail- 
able to show that increased consumption 
of protein does not show a corresponding 
increase in cardiovascular disease. Stud- 
ies now indicate there is a relationship 
between fat and carbohydrate consump- 
tion and cholesterol levels. Obesity shows 
a definite relationship to cardiovascular 
disease. Actuarial tables have pointed 
this out for a number of years. 

It is often assumed that a low-choles- 
terol diet will keep the blood level down 
and might prevent atherosclerosis. Low- 
cholesterol diets have become fashionable, 
and people are advised to restrict the use 
of eggs and other cholesterol rich foods. 
The capacity of the body to synthesize 
cholesterol was overlooked. 

Considerable cholesterol is found in the 
blood plasma of even normal persons. 
Boyd's research found that an average 
amount in the blood of healthy young 
women in a fasting state was 162 mg. per 
100 ml. of plasma. Of the total 70 percent 
was combined with fatty acids as choles- 
terol esters. About one-fifth of the total 
fatty acids in the plasma was found to 
be combined with cholesterol. Unsatur- 
ated fatty acids are transported in the 
circulation as cholesterol esters. Keys' 
research has shown that cholesterol in- 
creases with age and is also correlated 
with the amount of fat in the diet. While 
a severe restriction in cholesterol intake 

Improvement Era 

can induce a decrease in plasma choles- 
terol, moderate reduction in intake has 
little effect. 

A relation between the proportion of 
food energy supplied by fat and the 
incidence of heart disease has been 
claimed by Keys, and the relationship of 
meat and incidence of heart disease by 
Dr. Cowley. In the United States and 
Canada fat provides from 40 to 50 per- 
cent of the total calories; in these coun- 
tries there is a high incidence of heart 
disease. In Japan fat supplies about 10 
percent of the total calories, and heart 
disease is said to be much less frequent 
than in the United States. Snedecor has 
pointed out the danger of assuming a 
common cause for two coincident events. 
There are many other related factors. 

In recent years much attention has 
been given to the relation of cholesterol 
to atheroclerosis and coronary disease, so 
much so that essential functions of cho- 
lesterol have been minimized or forgot- 
ten. Popular articles have represented 
cholesterol as harmful. 

Cholesterol is a normal essential con- 
stituent of blood, nerve tissue, and other 
parts of the body. Dietary fat is not 
essential for the formation of cholesterol. 
Cholesterol serves a number of important, 
essential purposes. By combining with 
fatty acids, particularly unsaturated ones, 
cholesterol forms esters, which are ve- 
hicles by which some fatty acids may be 
absorbed from the small intestine and 
fatty acids are transported in the blood. 
Cholesterol is a precursor of several es- 
sential compounds in the body. From 
cholesterol, the bile salts are formed. 
Cholesterol, present in the skin, can be 
converted into vitamin D when the skin 
is exposed to sunlight or some other 
source of ultraviolet radiation. There is 
evidence that cholesterol influences im- 
munological reactions in protecting the 
body from certain substances. It has been 
established that cholesterol is the pre- 
cursor of the sex hormone pregnanediol. 
There are substantial reasons for con- 
cluding that other sex hormones and the 
steroid hormones of the adrenal cortex 
in all probability are produced from 

The essential functions of cholesterol 
explain why that substance is synthesized 
in the body from acetate and why cho- 
lesterol concentration in body tissues is 
kept fairly constant. While the liver is 
probably the main site of cholesterol syn- 
thesis, the production can take place in 
such diverse tissues of the skin, the 
adrenal cortex, the kidney, and even 
the wall of the aorta. Tissue concentra- 
tion of cholesterol is kept reasonably 
constant by balancing the quantity of 
cholesterol absorbed plus that synthe- 
sized against the sum of cholesterol me- 
tabolized, excreted, and used for the pro- 
duction of hormones and other com- 

A clear picture of the cause of athero- 
sclerosis and of the consequent coronary 
disease is not available. There is no doubt 
that a deposition of cholesterol in the 
artery close to the arterial wall, or in it, 
is of great significance. Abnormal blood 
cholesterol, cholesterol-rich food intakes, 
high intakes of fat, and vitamin B6 de- 
ficiency have been implicated as factors 

conductive to the pathologic deposition of 
cholesterol in the arteries. Evidence for 
the validity of any of these factors in 
relation to the human disease is incon- 
clusive, at present. 

Mrs. Margaret B. Merkley 

Extension Family Life Programs 

Utah State University 

Logan, Utah 

I can find nowhere in the Doctrine and 
Covenants where the Lord has said that 
butterfat or whole milk is not good for 
man. As you may already be aware, the 
field of nutrition is quite controversial, 
and many eminent doctors disagree on 
interpretation of findings. I feel Doctrine 

and Covenants 89:12 refers to meat only. 
Dr. H. P. Adams at the University of 
Nevada College of Agriculture says, "If 
people select a cholesterol-free diet, it is 
no guarantee that their blood cholesterol 
will be low. Persons consuming a choles- 
terol-free diet with high calorie intake 
will have a higher blood cholesterol than 
those consuming animal products in a 
normal diet. On high energy diets, the 
body will synthesize large quantities of 
cholesterol. Animal products are nutri- 
tious, and for proper nutrition, should be 
included in the diet. An excessive calorie 
intake should be avoided." 

Fred Bobins 

San Francisco, California 

Richard L. Evans 

The Spoken Word 

"I had a pleasant time with my mind 

There is a thoughtful line from Louisa May Alcott: "I had a pleasant 
time with my mind, for it was happy." The mind, of course, can 
go anywhere, even when the body is infirm or confined. Con- 
sciously or subconsciously the mind is always in motion. And it is still 
true that as a man thinketh, so is he. 1 "If you keep your mind suffi- 
ciently open," one observer said, "people will throw a lot of rubbish 
into it." 2 They will, and they do, if we let them. And it is for us to see 
that we select wholesome mental fare for ourselves in what we read 
and see and hear, and also concern ourselves with what is taught our 
children by any and all means by which impressions are made upon 
their minds— for what moves in our minds is the pattern of what will 
come to pass unless something prevents. It is in the mind that music 
and poetry are first fashioned. It is in the mind that envy and evil are 
incubated, that crime is first committed, that morality and immorality 
are made. And in the mind beauty and good are born. In the mind our 
future is made, and we are responsible for the thoughts we think and 
for the purposes we pursue. There is nothing we know of more mar- 
velous than the human mind, except the infinite mind of God who 
gave it. And one cannot conceive of anyone's using any drug or dope 
or mind-dulling substance that would impair the senses, or interfere 
with judgment or self-control, or in any way mar the mind of man— 
this great and sensitive instrument that God has given. If we are clean 
in mind, we are clean and happy in life. If we are evil in mind, we are 
not happy anywhere. "Clean up your thought," said Dr. Frank Crane. 
"Don't have a waste-basket mind." 3 God give us the wisdom to respect 
our minds, and not clutter them with trash or trivia or unwholesome 
content of any kind— for the mind in large measure is where we live 
our lives. "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy 
confidence wax strong in the presence of God." 4 "I had a pleasant 
time with my mind, for it was happy." 

'See Prov. 23:7. 

! William A. Orton, PostScript, September 1968. 

3 Dr. Frank Crane, Four Minute Essays: Slovenly Thought. 

"D&C 121:45. 

*"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, 
presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System October 19, 1969. 1969. 

December 1969 




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State . 



Radio Association 

Joseph A. Kjar, president 
of the Davis (Utah) 
Stake and vice-president 
and general manager 
of KSL Radio in Salt Lake 
City, has been reelected 
vice-chairman of the 
CBS Radio Affiliates 

Major Receives 
Lawyer Award 

Major John R. Thomock, 
high councilor in the 
Virginia Stake, recently 
received the 1969 Younger 
Federal Lawyer Award, 
presented annually 
to outstanding lawyers 
in U.S. federal service. 




Alaska Airlines President 

L. Preston Blatter of the 
Bellevue (Washington) 
Third Ward has been elected 
president and chief 
executive officer of 
Alaska Airlines. 

Improvement Era 

TheLDS Scene 

New Regional Representatives 

The First Presidency 
recently announced the 
appointments of John H. 
Groberg of Idaho Falls, 
Idaho, and Raymond W. 
Eldredge of Murray, Utah, as 
Regional Representatives 
of the Council of the 
Twelve. The appointments 
bring to 73 the number 
of Regional Representatives. 
Brother Groberg will 
serve the Samoa and 
Tonga regions, and 
Brother Eldredge will serve 

the Salem and Portland 
(Oregon) regions. 
Brother Groberg, former 
president of the Tongan 
Mission, is active in 
real estate development in 
Idaho. He and his wife, 
Jean, have six children. 
Brother Eldredge, recently 
released as president 
of the East Central States 
Mission, has been an 
executive in the grocery 
industry. He and his wife, 
Erma, have two daughters. 

Church's Family Home Evening Program Honored 

Elder Boyd K. Packer, Assistant to the Council of the 

Twelve, right, receives a plaque honoring the 

Church's Family Home Evening Program from 

Andre LeTendre, national president of the Jaycees, American 

service organization. The Jaycees have launched 

a program patterned after the Family Home Evening 

Program titled "Moments at Home," "to build 

spirituality, American idealism, and good moral principles 

in the younger generation." Plaques using 

President David 0. McKay's quotation "No other success 

can compensate for failure in the home" will be 

widely distributed by the group. 

Western Illinois 

Vice-President Named 

Dr. Richard D. Poll of 
the Brigham Young 
University Political Science 
Department has been 
appointed vice-president of 
administration at Western 
Illinois University. 

President of California 
Real Estate Association 

Melvin L. Mould of 

the Lakewood (California) 

Ward has been 

elected president of the 

50,000-member California 

Real Estate Association. 

Printing Executive 

Max Wheelwright of the 
Yalecrest (Salt Lake City) 
Ward has been elected 
vice-chairman of the 
board of the 2,000-member 
National Association 
of Photo-Lithographers. 





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• Recently an article appeared in 
a local newspaper about an old 
woman who had locked herself 
inside her hotel room and refused 
to come out. Many wondered at 
this seemingly bizarre display of 
behavior; yet, as the story un- 
folded, one could not help but feel 
a twinge of sorrow for this little 
lady and so many others like her. 

The tragedy was not the fact 
that her hotel had been condemned 
and was soon to be torn down, but 
the fact that nobody seemed to 
know who she was nor whence she 
came. Like countless others, she 
had come to the big city years ago 
and had slowly been engulfed in 
the impersonal mass of nameless, 
forgotten individuals who are so 
much a part of our urbanized so- 
ciety. Having nowhere to go and 
without others to care about her, 
she had retreated to the inner 
sanctuary of the only world she 
knew — her hotel room — a world 
that soon would be destroyed. 

jn an age of zip codes and area 
codes, an age where individual 
identities are lost in a maze of 
computer cards, where people can 

Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr., is director of 
the Gardena Institute of Religion 
and counselor in the University of 
Southern California Ward bishopric. 

Improvement Era 


Conducted by the 
Church School System 

Personal Touch 

By Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr. 

live next door to one another with- 
out ever becoming acquainted, 
where high-speed freeways facili- 
tate our reaching geographical 
locations but tend to widen the 
distance between human beings, 
and in an age where people live 
without benefit of family and 
friends, the challenge of the gospel 
is vividly brought to mind: "Re- 
member the worth of souls is great 
in the sight of God." (D&C 18:10.) 
The specific meaning this has to 
you, the gospel teacher, might be 
exemplified by asking yourself 
the following questions: What value 
do you really place on the souls in 
your classroom? Have you ever 
attempted to teach the principles 
of salvation to a class of nameless, 
often faceless, individuals? Do you 
feel a personal relationship with 
every student in your class, includ- 
ing those who are not regular 
attenders? Can you sense a per- 
sonal identity for each child in the 
class, or are they all merely 
blended into one impersonal con- 
glomerate with which you are only 
vaguely concerned a few hours a 
week? In essence, are you con- 
cerned with the individual worth 
of each living soul in your class- 
room? Do you add the personal 
touch to your teaching? 

If the gospel of Jesus Christ is 
to become a vital, living force in 
the lives of our students, it must 
be carried to them by teachers 
who feel a personal responsibility 
for each individual entrusted to 
their care. As a student senses 
that a teacher is not just super- 
ficially concerned with him, not 
just routinely going through the 
motions of giving a lesson each 
week; as he senses the teacher's 
concern for his welfare in and out 
of the classroom, receptivity to the 
teaching message increases many- 

What, then, can the gospel 
teacher do .to increase the strength 
of his relationship with each mem- 
ber of his class? What can be done 
to add the personal touch? Both 
teacher and student would be 
benefited by the teacher's adher- 
ence to the following suggestions: 

1. Know the first and last names 
of every member of your class; 
further, learn to pronounce the 
names correctly. An individual's 
sense of identity is encompassed 
within his name. We like to hear 
our name properly used. Somehow 
it gives us a sense of individuality, 
and we feel that others know we 
exist. Our Father in heaven is 
extremely concerned with the prop- 

er use of his name. To refer to 
a student as "hey you," or "you 
with the blue shirt" is to deny him 
personal dignity. 

As the teacher makes a genuine 
effort to learn the names, even 
nicknames, of each member of the 
class, a personal bond begins to 
grow between teacher and student, 
a bond that will open the doors to 
trust and learning. 

2. Actively seek to obtain a 
knowledge of the background, 
interests, and goals of each stu- 
dent. Knowing the special inter- 
ests of class members will aid in 
preparing lessons that will mean- 
ingfully relate to their personal 
lives and in further strengthening 
student-teacher relationships. 

One method that has proven 
successful is to have each class 
member fill out a small question- 
naire or card. Caution should be 
exerted, however, not to pry into 
areas of students' lives that are 
too personal nor to make them 
feel obligated to answer questions. 
Let students know that you are 
doing this as a method of becom- 
ing better acquainted with them. 

Another method is to talk with 
home teachers, priesthood leaders, 
and friends of your students. Final- 
ly, be alert to news items in local 

December 1969 



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or school newspapers that may 
deal with some aspect of the stu- 
dent's life — an actual achievement 
or recognition he has received or 
a subject in which he is interested. 
Take time to personally congratu- 
late him with a phone call, a visit, 
or a letter. 

3. Keep an accurate roll, and 
follow up on students who are 
absent. If a phone call or a visit 
is made to a student following an 
absence from class, and if genuine 
concern is expressed about his not 
being present, chances of his at- 
tending the following class period 
will be improved. For a student to 
be absent, legitimately or not, and 
have his absence go unnoticed is 
to suggest to him that it really is 
not important for him to be there 
at all — the teacher really does not 
care about his presence in class. 
We all have a need to feel wanted. 
Have you ever stopped to consider 
the painful void that exists in the 
lives of those who are never 
missed? Let your students know 
you care about them. 

4. Treat each class member 
with the same respect you would 
desire from a teacher were you the 
student. Just because a student 
may be younger, less experienced, 
or, perhaps, less informed than 
you, do not allow yourself to 
dismiss his comments as irrele- 
vant. Remember, honestly ex- 
pressed opinions are as much a 
part of a student as are his physi- 
cal characteristics; and right or 
wrong, we must respect such 

If the teacher deftly handles all 
student comments as skillfully as 
a surgeon performing a delicate 
operation on the physical body, his 
chances of truly helping the stu- 
dent will be greatly increased. If, 
however, a student's remarks are 
treated with contempt, attacked 
with sarcasm and ridicule, or light- 
ly dismissed without due con- 
sideration, a gap will be created 

between teacher and student that 
may cause the student to reject 
the teacher as well as his message. 

5. Frequently express apprecia- 
tion to class members for the privi- 
lege of knowing and working with 
them. Caution must be exerted 
to see that you are really sincere 
in what you say. Students are 
able to detect false pronounce- 
ments of appreciation; and, if you 
are insincere in expressing your 
feelings to them, they may begin 
to question the truthfulness of 
other things you tell them. How- 
ever, if an honest effort is made to 
build good rapport with the class, 
an expression of appreciation to 
the students can only enhance the 
learning environment. 

6. Be sensitive to the moods 
and needs of your class members. 
For example, if a student comes 
to class red-eyed and obviously in 
distress, quietly indicate to him 
your concern and offer your as- 
sistance. Perhaps a short note 
expressing your desire to help and 
placed unobtrusively in the hands 
of the student would be appre- 
ciated. Let him know that you 
care and are concerned! 

Perhaps we could list a myriad 
of things the gospel teacher could 
do in adding the personal touch 
to his teaching; however, these six 
suggestions are appropriate start- 
ers. The teacher is encouraged 
to be ever watchful for methods 
of cementing a more solid bond 
between him and members of his 
class. If he remembers the sacred- 
ness of the responsibility placed 
upon his shoulders and the warn- 
ing issued by the Prophet Joseph 
Smith that "none but fools will 
trifle with the souls of men," he 
will make every effort to know his 
students and to make them feel 
wanted in his classroom. Thus, the 
challenge of adding the personal 
touch becomes ever more impor- 
tant in the calling of the gospel 
teacher. O 


Improvement Era 







By Dr. G. Homer Durham 

Commissioner and Executive Officer, 
Utah System of Higher Education 

• In one of his dialogues, Plato 
(through an English translator) 
refers to reverence and justice "as 
the ordering principles of cities." 
"Reverence" for God, for one's 
self, one's fellow creatures, was 
thus declared as a foundation for 
the respect and regard essential 
to "justice." Human beings, the 
theory runs, could crowd together 
in cities and live in relative peace 
because Zeus, the chief God, had 
distributed the qualities of rever- 
ence and justice among all men. 
All men were presumed to receive 
the attribute, not merely a few as 
with musical or mechanical talents. 
Today it occasionally seems as if 

reverence and justice were more 
rarely found than other talents. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, 
Jesus enjoined his listeners to 
turn the other cheek when smitten, 
to "love your enemies, bless them 
that curse you, do good to them 
that hate you, and pray for them 
which despitefully use you, and 
persecute you." (Matt. 5:44.) 

One must admit that in these 
times, few public prayers of such 
nature are offered. Whatever 
"reverence" and "justice" are 
found among men, Christians or 
not, rarely rises to the level of 
Jesus' injunctions. Can enemies 
come to agree? 

Extension of citizenship and the 
suffrage have been the chief mod- 
ern reliants to provide peaceful 
means for obtaining agreement 
within systems. Domestic revolu- 
tion, violence, and rebellion, how- 
ever, have not disappeared. And, 
dissension "between" systems (as 
contrasted "within" systems) ag- 
gravates the world. As populations 
grow, men become more interde- 
pendent. Woodrow Wilson, as a 
student of government, saw (1) 
kinship and (2) religion as the 
fundamental "glue" that held so- 
ciety together. He viewed citizen- 
ship as growing out of, and 
supplanting, family ties as "the 
bond of society." Meanwhile, 
politics, with representation, elec- 
tions, universal suffrage, open 
channels for redress of grievances 
and remedial legislation, rein- 
forced the ideals of "reverence" 
and "justice" enjoined by reli- 

As these words were being 
written, the American nation had 
experienced "Moratorium Day" 
October 15, 1969. Plans were 
being laid for more nationwide 
"peaceful demonstrations" in No- 
vember, and periodically there- 
after, until President Nixon 
"stopped the war in Vietnam." 
Many persons feared that the dem- 
onstration gave aid and comfort 
to the enemy; derailed important 
efforts at negotiation; diverted 
support from American men. 

Autumn 1969 was not the first 
time some American citizens had 
taken to the streets. Expressions 
of disagreement characterize a 
free society. There were violent 
demonstrations in colonial Boston. 
New York was the scene of draft 
riots during the Civil War. And 
there have been frequent, local 
mob uprisings, from Shay's and 
the Whiskey rebellions, to a score 
of others. Suffragettes demon- 
strated for many years. Coxey's 
Army marched in the 1890's. The 

December 1969 


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Veterans' Bonus March confronted 
Herbert Hoover in 1932. And all 
are familiar with the civil rights 
marches of the past two decades. 

Peaceful picketing is the law of 
the land. The Pennsylvania Avenue 
sidewalk north of the White House 
is rarely without its placard 
parade. Now come efforts at na- 
tionwide organization of demon- 
strations affecting foreign policy, 
disposition of troops abroad, and 
the carrying on of organized 
warfare. The phrase "write your 
Congressman," as political admo- 
nition, falls quaintly, if at all, on 
the ears of demonstrators. But the 
quiet public is gravely concerned 
and wonders if the fabric of gov- 
ernment is not being destroyed. 

"To the streets!" has not yet 
become the popular cry in Ameri- 
can cities, as it was with "to the 
barricades!" in nineteenth cen- 
tury and contemporary Paris. But 
there is an intimation of alarming 
disquiet, of upheaval, of things 
getting "out of control." Persons 
who have seen small sparks in- 
flame and stampede large crowds 
are distressed. When, they yearn, 
will "reverence and justice" con- 
strain "free" speech in life's 
crowded theaters? When will wis- 
dom and sobriety replace the 
threat of disorder? 

If the rhythm of upheaval, of 
public dissatisfaction with the 
Vietnam War continues, President 
Nixon, indeed any officer of state 
concerned, cannot but give such 
political activity measured regard. 

"Measured regard" is the criti- 
cal factor. How does one measure 
and evaluate the current political 
style that seems to take its in- 
spiration from Mao? 

History shows that popular 
demonstrations can be rigged, 
staged, launched, and organized 
for less than substantial reasons 
and causes. Maoists and Che 
Guevara followers are undoubtedly 
at work. But history also shows 

(as the American Declaration of 
Independence asserts) that when 
"light and transient causes" are 
separated from a long train of "in- 
sufferable abuses," then deep, 
popular forces are at work that 
public officers may ignore at their 
peril. The White House has never 
been stormed by mobs or popular 
uprisings similar to those seen in 
European or Roman palaces long 
before Mao and Che. But the 
American political fabric, so essen- 
tially held together by the Presi- 
dency, is under more strain than 
has been found in recent racial 
crises, the urban-rural differential 
views of things, labor-management 
differences, financial north-east 
versus south and west attitudes. 
There is more strain than between 
"hawks" and "doves," military 
patriots and the pacific "liberal 

Underneath the war is the draft. 
Under the draft is passionate 
youth. And among the youth, 
their peers, their kith and kin, are 
mixed feelings of injustice. These 
feelings are not fully mobilized, 
politically speaking. They, how- 
ever, have tended to reduce the 
essential feelings of "reverence" 
people in a healthy society need 
for each other, of whatever race, 
class, color, or condition. The es- 
sential "reverence" a healthy so- 
ciety requires for its institutions, 
for its families, schools, churches, 
cities, neighborhoods, communi- 
ties, is not only being eroded; it 
is being polarized. The farmer 
Kiwanian repeating the Pledge of 
Allegiance and his son in Vietnam 
— this is a far, far reach from the 
bearded, pacifist youth on the 
street with a placard. 

Feelings of injustice gnaw upon 
the body politic. These feelings 
flow as well from the relation that 
mass education bears to economic 
well-being. The upper echelons 
in the colleges and universities 
appear to dominate the favored 

Improvement Era 

roads to a meal ticket, a job, a 
house, a car, a family, and life. 
With draft deferments for a score 
of years having gone to college 
students, the Vietnam War has 
further cut deeply into the national 
consensus. The fortunate, advan- 
taged academic youth, under de- 
ferment, have (in many cases) 
poured out their youthful feelings 
of "reverence," love for life, and 
for love itself, on behalf of their 
non-academic, non-deferred, dis- 
advantaged armed brethren in the 
jungles. Color television's nightly 
newsreels have reinforced and 
highly charged their imaginative, 
reverential outreach. Some have 
demonstrated, and reenacted (via 
guerilla "theater"), the scenes 
that wound their sensibilities. 
Meanwhile, the boys in Vietnam 
are wounded in their bodies. Those 
drafted, who are on the firing 
line, who are actually (not con- 
ceptually) wearing the bloody 
bandages and writhing in the mud 
— and their patriotic, sacrificing 
families — can only have growing 
feelings of contempt for the 
"actors" back home, safe in white 
sheets and hot showers at the col- 
lege dorms. 

So President Nixon has been 
pressed, and is pursuing draft re- 
form in the pursuit of justice, as 
well as stopping the war itself. 

Over all the present unrest hang 
heavy feelings that probe further 
into the human aspiration for 
justice. Included in America are 
the feelings that the U.S. effort in 
Vietnam has been hamstrung. 
Others feel the effort has been 
more than notable; that it has 
gone on too long; that it was going 
on for two decades at least before 
the Tonkin resolution; that it may 
undoubtedly go on for some time 
into the future; that there are more 
effective and better ways to cope 
with international conspiracy and 
subversion; and that for the good 
of the country and the rest of the 

world, we'd better restore our own 
internal sense of justice and 
reverence. For, these arguments 
run, we can't export qualities of 
respect from a house divided by 
growing confusion as to (1) the 
goals and (2) the meaning of the 

It is said by some that the Red 
Chinese won in Korea in 1952-53. 
Between Presidents Truman and 
Eisenhower, the U.S. arranged a 
cease-fire. If President Nixon 
chooses a similar road, even if 
Hanoi shouts "victory!" should 
America as a nation cry defeat and 
disaster? Who wins any war? Look 
at Japan, Italy, and West Germany 
since 1945. Out of military defeat 
has come economic and social vic- 
tory for them. The United States 
certainly has not suffered military 
defeat in Vietnam. Military victory 
in Vietnam is not analagous to a 
football or baseball game. It will 
certainly not be analagous to past 
scenes such as General MacArthur 
accepting the surrender of Japan 
on the USS Missouri in 1945. Any 
pre-Vietnam treaties and "peace 
conferences" will hardly be pro- 
duced in the present situation. 
The victory that America really 
needs to win may well be the vic- 
tory of reinstating "reverence and 
justice" at home, as "the order- 
ing principles of cities," as the 
bonds that may hold vigorous and 
differing men together in a free 
society. o 

And With 
Head Bowed 

By Mildred N. Hoyer 

Although he live 
Is there a man 
So poor as he 
Who sees no cause 
For him to pause 
And with head bowed, 
Say, "Thank You, God"? 






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December 1969 


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eyeglass and pocket models. 
gation. Money back guaran- 
tee. No down payment. Easy 
terms. No salesmen or deal- 
Order direct and save 65%. 

Write for free catalog. 

PRESTIGE, Dept. D-57 , Box 10947, Houston, Tex. 77018. 


Two exciting new songs written especially for solos at 

Missionary Farewells 
Missionary Homecomings 

Send $1.00 for both. 

Ron and Diana Sinclair 255 E. 400 N. 

Monroe, Utah 84754 


End of an Era 

The Christmas spirit is a 

blessed spirit available to all, 

not alone to the rich, 

the influential, the heralded or 

popular. It may pervade 

the humblest cottage 

or the palace of the king, 

but only when it is in the hearts 

of those who live there. 

— President Hvgli B. Brown 

On the Threshold of Hysteria 

When I'm about to get dis- 

There's one thought which 
allays : 

That soon our urgent heres and 

Will be "the good old days." 

— Evalyn M. Sandberg 

"End of an Era" will pay $3 
for humorous anecdotes and 
experiences that relate to the 
Latter-day Saint way of life. 
Maximum length 150 words. 

The class in American 
history had been discussing 
some famous early 
Americans, among them the 
founder of Rhode Island, 
Roger Williams. After 
class our daughter 
approached the teacher. 
"Roger Williams was my 
tenth great-grandfather, " 
she informed him. 
"Anybody can claim to be 
descended from famous 

people," he replied. "But 
I can prove it, sir," 
she insisted. "In my church 
we do a lot of genealogy. " 
"Hmmph!" he snorted. 
"Next you'll be telling 
me you're related to God 
himself I" Without a 
moment's hesitation she 
answered, "I certainly am. 
He's my Father !" 
-Mrs. Erma W. Stott, 
Tucson, Arizona 

"Did anybody drop a roll 
of bills with a rubber band 
around them?" "Yes, I did," 
said several voices in the 
bank lobby. "Well, I just 
picked up the rubber band," 
said the old gentleman calmly. 

"I hear the men are striking." 
"What for?" "Shorter 
hours." "Good luck to them. 
I always did think sixty 
minutes was too long for 
an hour." 

Judge (in dentist's chair): 
Do you swear to pull the 
tooth, the whole tooth, and 
nothing but the tooth? 

The voice that father gets 
in Christmas affairs is 
the invoice. 

Advice is like snow : the 
softer it falls, the longer it 
dwells upon, and the 
deeper it sinks into the mind. 
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge 


Improvement Era 

:^ : ..;,;.;;: 

This Is the Season of Radiance 

Through the many years of Christ- 
mas Tschaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet has been a 
happy tradition in many communities. Members 

<1 CP T?yL 

gadhi war Ki 

of the famous Ballet West who brighten Utah's 
scene each holiday season illustrate some Christ- 
mas advice somewhat symbolically. 

Elaine Cannon 

Photos by Eldon Linschoten 

■ ■■ 

lop Off Your High Horse . . . and 

join in family fun 

visit with neighbors who call 

help with the clean-up 




Bow to the Beauty ... of 

* the true meaning of the day 

* reading the scriptural references again 

* traditional songs of worship 

* the radiance of the season 

Stretch Yourself ... to 

tell Christmas stories to little ones 

make your own presents 

wrap them creatively 

help without being hounded 

Put Your Best Foot Forward ... in your 

* mannerliness 

* appearance 



On Your Toes . . . with 

* surprises for forgotten folk 

* new ideas for significant new traditions 
your room, your assignments, 
your life in order 



My Gift 

Nor crown, nor robe, nor spice I bring 
As offering unto Christ, my King. 
Yet have I brought a gift the Child 
May not despise, however small; 
For here I lay my heart today, 
And it is full of love to all. 
Take Thou the poor but loyal thing, 
My only tribute, Christ, my King! 

(Eugene Field, from 

"The Three Kings of Cologne") 



By Howard S. Bliss 

Does Christ save you from your sin? 
Call him Savior! 

Does he shine upon the pathway that 

is dark to you? 
Call him Guide! 

Does he free you from the slavery of 

your passions? 
Call him Redeemer! 

Does he teach you as no one else has 

taught you? 
Call him Teacher! 

Does he mold and master your life? 
Call him Master! 

Does he reveal God to you? 
Call him the Son of God! 

Does he reveal man? 
Call him the Son of man! 

Or, in following him, are your lips 
silent in your incapacity to define 
him and his influence upon you? 

Call him by no name, but follow him! 

Scott Jackson and Cathy Cook 

The songs and the stories of Christmas are filled 
with thoughts of shepherds and kings and wise 
men worshiping the Holy Infant and bringing gifts 
of love to him. Many can be said and sung almost 
without thinking; perhaps too frequently they are. 

But there is one thing about the old story that 
ought to be thought about in these days of divisive 
course and causes — thought about by all men of 
good will and good desires: There was once born to 
the earth a baby whose influence brought together 
those who knew little and those who were wise 
enough to understand that they didn't know every- 
thing, and somehow caused them to cross barriers 
and boundaries of station and become, in his spirit, 

No gift or grace is presently more to be desired 
than such an influence. It is available still to those 
who know the limitations of their knowledge and 
the transient nature of their possessions and the 
vulnerability of temporal power and who move 
beyond the stumbling blocks of their stations to a 
unity in Christ. 

— Marion D. Hanks 


Christmas Lights 

By Mary Brinton 

Down in the valley 
On seasonal nights 
Are twinklings of rainbows- 
Man's Christmas lights. 

And up on the hillside, 

Home for Christmas 

By Brian Frank Provancha 

I held her hands in mine last night 
And they were just as warm 
And held mine just as tightly 
As the day that I was born. 

Those gentle but expressive hands, 
Etched by work and care, 
Have folded over my bedside 
Many times in humble prayer; 

They've washed for me, they've fed me, 
They've helped me to be a man. 
There's something of our Lord himself 
In every mother's hand. 

All frosted with snow, Wm % 

Flame thousands of paintpots, 
Contents aglow. 

Ascending far upward 
Into the aesthetic night 
Blaze masterworks of all time 
God's Christmas lights. 

Christmas . . . and Kathy's in Love 

By Alda L. Brown 

Was it laughter or was it a silver-bell chime 
That drifted, in gaiety, from the stairway above? 
Fresh-home from college ... at Christmastime — 
A season to be jolly . . . and Kathy's in love! 

Was it trimmings of Yuletide that just floated by, 

In red chiffon gown and slippers with bows? 

Or was it long tresses as bright as the sky, 

And everywhere perfume, and carols, and clothes? 

The tree may have baubles that twinkle and glitter, 
But oh, the bright sparkle as she took the phone, 
Where lovelight and starlight completely possessed her. 
We knew it was Kathy's last Christmas at home. 


Era of Youth 

/ i 

IHfe E<g&m@d tk( 

By President S. Dilworth Young 

Of the First Council of the Seventy 

• At Christmas time, let us pause for a serious moment as we unwrap the gifts re- 
ceived from those who love us. 

We are in our growing years. We feel the press of coming adulthood. We feel that 
we are really, truly grown. These gifts have some remote connection with the Savior 
of the world. Had he not died for us we would not be celebrating on this day. There 
would be no gifts; there would be no carols; there would be no tinseled tree. We do not 
think very much about him, but we are thrilled to receive. 

We remember, too, that we have given gifts to those who gave to us. We wonder 
if what we gave to them was equal to what they gave us. We don't feel that way about 
our parents. They'll give us many gifts; we expect that. Don't they love us? Our one 
small gift to them will express our love for them. They'll understand. They don't expect 
many gifts. They will be satisfied with any sign of appreciating love. 

I wonder if it is that way with the Lord Jesus Christ? All that I am he has given 
me. Will he, like my parents, be satisfied with one small gift? I think about him in my 
youth. He rhtlMt have once been a youth. He must have known he was the Son of God. 
Why else would he tell the doctors in the temple that he must be about his Father's busi- 
ness? That could not have been Joseph. Joseph was a simple carpenter, and besides, 
he was talking to Joseph when he said it. 

I wonder what he was like during his youthful years. One thing is apparent — he gave 
obedience to his earthly parents. He learned the carpenter's trade from Joseph. If he 
set an example for eternity, I wonder if he could have been setting an example in that, too. 
He was very much more intelligent than Joseph or Mary. He could have looked upon 
them with the scorn of superior knowledge; yet as a young man growing up he obeyed 
them until he was fully grown. 

What can the life of the Lord mean to me? I can believe, although I don't quite under- 
stand his sacrifice. Just why it had to be that way, I am not sure. He did obey his 
Father in heaven, but as a youth he obeyed Joseph. Perhaps I should follow his exam- 
ple and be obedient to my father and mother. Such a life would please him. Could this 
be my gift to him? O 

December 1969 


%Qfl AinslfbMr (Owb. (SISt 

• "There is an old man up there 
ahead of you and you ought to 

know him. He looks somewhat 
like you, talks like you, walks 
like you. He has your nose, your 
eyes, your chin. And whether 
he loves you or hates you, re- 
spects or despises you, whether 
he is angry or compatible, 
whether he is miserable or happy, 
depends on you . . . for you made 
him. He is you grown older." 
Richard L. Evans said this in a 
talk recently. 

You are the gift you give your- 
self. What you do with your life 
now determines what you will be 
in the tomorrows. 

"Life is a short walk along a 
narrow thread . . . beginning and 
ending in a mysterious unknown. 
Hope keeps us balanced as we 
walk the narrow line. Life is 
short as we see it, but in reality 
. . . never ends . . . and, long or 
short, it is all that we have." 

Life is all that we have, but 
when you think about it, that's 
quite a lot to have. When we 
leave this world, all we have to 
take on to the next world is our 
wisdom and our accomplishments, 
whether they are good or bad. If 
we could remember this every 
day, maybe we would try harder 
to be better. A lot of us forget 
our purpose here on earth, be- 

cause we get involved in our liv- 
ing and our joys and sorrows. But 
living is our only way of learning. 

One of life's most important 
problems is learning to get along 
with the people with whom we as- 
sociate. One easy way is to make 
compromises in our principles — 
to go the way of the world, what- 
ever way that is, for the world 
has so many different ways. But 
this is not the good way. 

It is impossible to satisfy all 
people, and abandoning princi- 
ples is no solution to the prob- 
lem of getting along with people. 
Compromising principles is simply 
surrender and self-betrayal. Any- 
one who betrays himself is never 
solidly accepted or respected by 

Others often judge us not by 
their standards but by our own — 
by what they know we believe. 
We disappoint and disillusion 
people when we depart from our 
own principles. 

The only way to get along with 
others is to be what we know we 
ought to be and to do what we 
know we ought to do, to give 
respect and to deserve respect, 
and not to betray ourselves by 
compromising principles. 

We shouldn't lower ourselves 
for anyone else, and we shouldn't 
feel lower than anyone else just 
because they can do some things 

better than we can. Each one of 
us has been blessed with different 
ideas, talents, and qualities. If 
God hadn't made man this way, 
we couldn't progress. 

When a man has made great 
accomplishments, other men tend 
to think, "What a great man! I 
wish I could be like him." But 
there are no truly great men — 
just ordinary men like you and 
me who have made great accom- 
plishments. They should be 
commended for those accomplish- 
ments. Each man can accomplish 
significantly in his own area, if he 
only tries. However, man tends 
to limit himself and what he can 
do by setting a goal and then 
stopping when he reaches it, 
thinking it is the best he can do. 
If we set our goal a little higher 
each time we progress a little 
more toward it, we will not limit 
ourselves as to how far we can go. 

Sometimes we tell ourselves we 
would be happy if only we could 
succeed. Often happiness is 
confused with what we frequently 
call success. Success is not just 
having more and more of every- 
thing, and it is not just going and 
getting. It is getting what we 
want if we want the right thing. 
It is arriving where we want to be 
if it is the right place. One can 
scarcely be called successful if 
he isn't happy, nor can he be 


Era of Youth 

By Randy Swenson, 17 

called happy if he doesn't have 
integrity, work, love, self-respect, 
and an appreciation for other 

Going, getting, and arriving 
aren't as essential as the aware- 
ness of being on the way, on the 
right road. We all have troubles, 
fears, problems, and we have to 
learn to live with them. We can't 
let our fears and problems stop 
us from attaining what we want 
and what we know is right. 

Robert Frost said, "In three 
words I can sum up everything 
I've learned about life: It goes 
on. . . . The important thing to 
remember is that there is a direc- 
tion and a continuity. . . . despite 
our fears and worries . . . life 

It does continue. And we have 
to meet it here and now. We 
cannot break down whenever 
things do not go our way, and we 
cannot keep running from things 
we do not like, because soon we 
have no strength to run anymore. 

We have to live life, face it, 
honor it, enjoy it, adjust to it, and 
do what we can about the things 
we don't like. We have to have 
faith in the future and do what 
we can to the best of our ability. 
Indeed our whole future depends 
upon it. That person up ahead 
is indeed I, as Brother Evans re- 
minded us. We are our gift. O 


December 1969 


lorway as the family 
,ion president opened 
our eyes and our hearts to the 
magic of a northland holiday 

Christmas in Norway is charm- 
ing, simple, warm, homey, unpre- 
tentious, traditional. It is not 
commercial or competitive, iavi: ' 
or elegant. 

Christmas in Norway is a piece 
of marzipan dough, with a loving 
mother with enough patience to 
help children make red straw- 
berries and yellow bananas and 
..bright little animals to tie rib- 
bons around. It's gingerbread 
lookies shaped and frosted and 

ared with friends. 

•tre tests (Christmas 


ginning the second day 

I nim i 

children everys^ 

is. joining 
danfing a rourfd the 
tree, singing the jagriiliar sonp c *>* 
the season. 

It's a bow! of *DSRrt (rice p 

ding) set outside 

sen ( Santa). 



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It's Julekake (rich raisin bread 
with special spice seasoning) and 
roast pork and sweet-sour cab- 
bage with caraway seeds and 
lutefisk and medister poser (thick 
Christmas weiners). 

It's tyttebaer (small cranber- 
ries) for decoration and for sauce. 
It's the surprise of an almond 
hidden in someone's rice pudding 
— and the finder gets a prize. 

It's all white lights on the 
trees and streamers of small paper 
Norwegian flags. 

It's cutout hearts, family heir- 
looms, and fresh-cut tulips every- 

It's the tradition of a gift- 
bearing saint, a thin, long-robed 
gentleman known as the Jule 

And no real Norwegian would 
forget to put out at least one 
bunch of grain, tied with bright 
red ribbon, for the birds of 

Christmas is a time for families 
and loving concern. It's a time 
for worship and church-going and 
remembering the reason for cele- 
bration. That's what makes 

Christmas in^ Norway so unfor- 




Popcorn and holiday happenings have a go- 
together quality. Young cooks know that popcorn 
treats are welcome in any gathering. 

Consider a bright basket of mellow caramel corn 
by the fireplace ... a shining silver tray heaped 
with chocolate-covered kernels . . . spicy balls 
wrapped in waxed bags and tied with rope ribbon 
. . . colorful gift bags filled with buttered corn. 

Creative girls have a great time coloring syrup 
in different shades and forming trees, cornucopias, 
bulging Christmas socks, and sleighs. From pop- 
corn molds in bright colors you can make a decora- 
tive Christmas scene that makes good eating when 
the party is over. 

Jan Johnson, a busy candy-striper volunteer, is 
famous for her candy-corn. Sometimes she and her 
friends make it fresh right on the scene. Sometimes 
a bagful and a warm note will surprise a friend 
who has won an honor or had a ski accident. And 
always the games are more fun when Jan and her 
popcorn are along. Jan's mother, Mrs. Jay John- 
son, has learned to always have on hand ample 
supply ingredients for this treat. 


WteRg @wm All Was Bmk, . 

• She felt the broken ground around her as she 
tried to orient herself with the land that she once 
knew so well. It had been dark for three days — a 
darkness she could feel. It was a frightening feel- 
ing to be so lost. 

It had begun three days ago with loud noises 
above and the quaking, trembling earth below. And 
then the darkness. It wasn't that she was unfamiliar 
with darkness. Her world had been dark for al- 
most 12 years. She had been born into darkness. 
She had never seen her mother smile. She had 
never seen the strong hands of her father as he 
lifted her to his lap at the end of each day. She 
had never known the joy of children's games nor 
the thrill of seeing the first clear spring day after 
a long, cold winter. 

Yes, Leoni knew darkness. Yet, somehow, this 
new darkness was different. It held a sound of 
crying and destruction and a feeling of depression. 
She had felt the walls of her home fall around her 
and had kntfwn the terror of finding the inert 
bodies of her mother and father and older brother. 
She wondered why she had been saved while so 
many others were being crushed and buried by the 
seemingly endless destruction. But in this darkness 
there were no explanations. She had been so drained 
of emotion that she simply accepted what seemed 
to be fate. 

She was not sure that the preservation of her 
life had been a blessing. What was left for her? 
What could she do? Who would help her to see 
now that the eyes she had known in her family 
were gone? And her brother — there was no one 
else who would walk through the fields with her 
and explain the colors of the sky and flowers. Other 
young people would laugh at her and tease her 
until she cried. It hurt to be laughed at and 
teased, but she would risk being hurt forever if she 
could just hear someone laugh now. It was so 
dafk, and she felt so alone! 

It seemed that she had been sitting there in 

By Daryl Eggleston 

Illustrated by Jerry Harston 

the ruins of her home for a long time. She must 
have fallen asleep. Now as she felt around her and 
tried to rise, she knew it wasn't dark anymore. She 
could feel the sun again on her face and arms. She 
raised her face toward the warmth, and her entire 
body seemed to lift with it. Her fear was gone, 
and she strained to somehow see the heavens. She 
had heard the voice from there and had marveled at 
the words that were spoken. In the silence after- 
wards she had slept. Now she felt the new life 
about her. No longer was the air full of crying 
and howling; it was full of joy and praises to God. 

Many days later, as Leoni was working in the 
field near where her mother, father, and brother 
had been buried, she heard someone call her name. 
She turned in the direction of the voice and called 
out, "Over here." 

She felt someone approach and stood to greet the 

"Come, Leoni," said the voice, much closer now. 
Someone took her hand and began to lead her. 
"Come. Everyone is called to the temple by the 
prophet, Nephi." 

Leoni did not answer but allowed herself to be 
led through the field. She wondered why they were 
going to the temple. What could it be that Nephi 
had to tell them? 

Many other people had already arrived at the 
temple. They were discussing with one another 
the reasons for this assembly. As Leoni and her 
companion stood among the crowd, there came a 
voice from heaven. As the people around her be- 
came quiet, she could hear the voice say, "Behold 
my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in 
whom I have glorified my name — hear ye him." 

Someone said, "Look," and she felt the hand 
that held hers tighten. Again she raised her face 
toward the heavens, hoping to see what was there. 

"An angel," someone said. 

"No," said another voice. "Listen." 

She listened, and again there was a voice from 


Era of Youth 

heaven. This time she recognized it as the one that 
had spoken before the darkness had come. It was 
gentle and kind as it said, "Behold, I am Jesus 
Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into 
the world. And behold, I am the light and the life 
of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter 
cup which the Father hath given me, and have glori- 
fied the Father in taking upon me the sins of the 
world, in which I have suffered the will of the Father 
in all things from the beginning." 

During all of that day, Leoni heard many wonder- 
ful things as she listened with her people to the 
voice. When he said he must go, she joined with 
those around her to beg him to stay. 

As he spoke, Leoni could feel the love he had for 
her people. Then he called for those who were ill 
or crippled to come to him, that he might heal them 
and make them whole. She heard the sound of 
footsteps as people passed her to get to him. As she 
stood there, she felt someone take her hand and 
lead her to him. It was the same person who had 
led her to the temple earlier. He had been with 
her all day. 

She could feel the presence of Jesus as she pa- 
tiently waited her turn to be blessed by him. She 
wondered if he could really make her see. She 
remembered all of the wonderful stories about how 
people were made well by the prophets. 

Soon it was her turn to go forward. She clung 
tightly to the hand that had led her, but it gently 
released itself and she felt a new pair of hands on 

her shoulders. They were strong, gentle hands, as 
her father's had been, only more gentle. She knew 
this was Christ. 

She closed her eyes tightly as he placed his hands 
on her head, and she listened closely as he spoke. 
She felt a wonderful feeling come over her. She 
tried so hard to catch and remember that mo- 
ment. Then he told her to open her eyes. As she 
did, the heavy veil of darkness was removed, and 
she looked into his face. She saw there the love she 
had heard in his voice and felt in his touch. She 
could see! 

Her eyes moved to his hands. She could see the 
marks of nails; she felt a pain in her heart for the 
pain he had suffered for her, as she thanked him 
reverently for her sight. Then she turned to see 
the boy who had been her guide, a boy whom she 
would always remember as the one who had led her 
to Jesus. With him she could walk in the fields and 
look at the sky. Before, these were only words her 
brother had spoken. Now they were real, and she 
was real, and most of all, Christ was now real 
to her. O 

®t Up ®m4 at mt 


(1) Contest is open to anyone who 
is a senior in high school or under 25 
years of age. (2) Winner must be in a 
position to accept the college scholar- 
ship for the fall of 1970, (3) A pen 
name must be used on each entry. 
(4) Each entry must have a sealed en- 
velope attached, with the author's real 
name, pen name, age, address, a photo- 

graph, and a statement that this is 
your own original work. (5) Specify 
which college contest you want to com- 
pete in. (Continental U.S. residents are 
not eligible for the Church College of 
Hawaii scholarships but may compete 
for scholarships to either Brigham 
Young University at Provo, Utah, or 
Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho.) (6) Your 

entry cannot be returned. (7) You may 
submit as many entries as you like, but 
each must have its own envelope of 
information. (See rules 3 and 4.) 
(8) DEADLINE: Postmarked by mid- 
night, December 31, 1969! (9) Entries 
must be mailed to Era of Youth Writing 
Contest, 79 South State Street, Salt 
Lake City, Utah 84111. 

• Last call for the 1969 Era of Youth Writing Contest. The dead- 
line is midnight, December 31, 1969. No time to loll around. 
Dreaming won't make you a winner. Putting off something you 
need to be doing now won't insure your college degree. But getting 
up and at the stimulating task of writing for the exciting Era of 
Youth contest might help. 

Prizes are marvelous — full and part scholarships, cash prizes, 
subscription to the Era, and special awards will be given to the many, 
many winners. Some of you will even make it in print on our pages. 

This is a contest where youth writes for youth. Gear your 
entries to young readers. What would you like to see in the Era of 
Youth? Write it. Study back issues to note what kinds of things 
are published. Pay attention, too, to how limited our space is, so 
articles must be short. Be original. Be creative. Be practical. Or 
some of each. But be busy writing. O 


Era of Youth 

Write for free information about Maxfield's fund-raising program 
for Church, Scout and Club Groups and other worthwhile projects. 

Always in exquisite taste . . . your gift of Max- 
field's Masterpieces in Chocolate. The world's 
finest, purest ingredients go into every perfect 
piece of incomparable candy created by Maxfield's. 
Rich, satiny-smooth chocolate . . . thick, fresh 
whipping cream to assure delectable delight. Max- 
field's . . . always lavishly sent, lovingly received. 

Ask for Maxfield's Masterpieces in 
Chocolate at candy counters everywhere. 

Maxfield Candy Company 1050 South First West Salt Lake City, Utah 


Second Class Postage Paid 
at Salt Lake City, Utah 

'ring Christmas . . . Family happiness is sharing a Christmas together — with the 
^test story ever told. Helping keep families together through life's uncertainties is the 
heart of our business at Beneficial Life. Your Beneficial Life consultant will help you pro- 
vide peace of mind and new growth for you and your family. ■ May you enjoy the good 
things of life, this Christmas and always. 


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